New weapons have been displayed in every Chinese military parade. Over 95 percent of the 42 sets of large-scale equipment displayed in the 1999 National Day military parade were new. A military officer disclosed that the 52 types of key equipment to be displayed in this year's military parade were all made in China and most will be reviewed for the first time.
According to domestic media reports, six new weapons that may be displayed have attracted the most attention.
J-10 fighter aircraft
The 15 J-10 fighter aircrafts that will collectively appear will certainly become the airborne stars of the 60th anniversary military parade. It is the first type of third-generation fighter aircrafts independently developed by China. It has independent intellectual property rights and is currently the most advanced domestically-manufactured fighter aircraft.
The introduction of the J-10 fighter aircraft made China the fifth country in the world capable of independently developing third-generation fighter aircrafts. Wang Jianmin, an air force division commander who will fly the leading plane in the J-10 fighter aircraft echelon in the military parade, disclosed that on October 1, the J-10 fighter aircraft echelon will fly over the Monument to the People's Heroes with only a latitudinal deviation of less than 30 meters permitted. A spokesperson from the Aviation Industry Corporation of China also disclosed that J-11 fighter aircraft will also appear in the military parade.
New-type main battle tank
Although "hidden" among Type-88 C tanks, the ZTZ99 new-type tank which made its debut in the 50th National Day military parade nevertheless caused a big stir.
The ZTZ99 new-type tank is a third-generation main battle tank independently developed by China. The comprehensive performance of the ZTZ99 tank ranks among the top three third-generation tanks in the world.
According to deputy chief designer Wang Zherong, the five "land battle tigers," which comprise the latest Type-99 main battle tank known as "China’s land battle ace," the Type-86 A infantry fighting vehicle, the 122mm crawler-mounted artillery, the HongJian 8 missile launcher and the 100mm wheeled assault gun, are likely to make a collective appearance. Earlier this year, China's latest Type-99 G main battle tank competed with Russia's T-80 main battle tank in active service during the two countries' "Peace Mission 2009" joint military exercise.
New-type strategic missile
The debut of Chinese strategic missiles in the 1984 National Day military parade shocked the world.
In the 1999 National Day military parade, aside from four missile divisions including the strategic nuclear missile and intercontinental missile divisions of the Chinese PLA Second Artillery Corps, the army, navy and air force all released new-type missile divisions. The military disclosed that strategic and tactical missiles will again comprise important divisions in the military parade, and they will be shorter, smaller and more powerful.
A Chinese missile expert recently stated that the Second Artillery Force will showcase five new types of missiles, including nuclear and conventional weapons.
During an interview, senior naval colonel Li Jie did not exclude the possibility of a Julang-2 submarine-launched intercontinental missile appearing in the military parade. Chinese National Defense Minister Liang Guanglie recently disclosed that hi-tech equipment such as cruise missiles and brand-new strategic nuclear missiles have been deployed in some PLA units.
Early warning aircrafts
Domestically-designed early warning aircrafts were once mysterious, but they will appear in this year’s military parade. Early warning aircraft is a type of hi-tech equipment integrating multiple functions including command, control, communications and intelligence. It is considered an "air leader" in combat in the information age.
China’s first early warning aircraft, the Kongjing-1, was based on the Soviet Union-made Tu-4 long-range bomber and commenced test flights in the 1970’s. According to media reports, China’s air forces have now been equipped with the Kongjing-200 and Kongjing-2000 aircraft.
New armed helicopters
The China-made Zhi-9 armed helicopter made its debut in the 1999 50th National Day parade. It was China’s first armed helicopter.
Over the past decade, China has made notable progress in armed helicopter research, development and manufacturing. According to Ma Xiangsheng, director of the Army Aviation Section of the General Staff Department, a type of domestically-developed new armed helicopter due to appear in the military parade reflects the informationization level of China’s army aviation corps.
At the appointed time, the world’s largest helicopter fleet will fly over Tiananmen Square led by general Yuan Jichang.
Improved Type-95 rifle group
China is among several countries able to independently design and manufacture light weapons. The domestically designed Type-95 rifle group ranks first in the world in terms of accuracy, weight, size and range.
A decade ago, an infantry group crossed Tiananmen Square carrying Type-95 automatic rifles. Since then, this type of small-bore rifle has drawn increasing attention. It is the first kind of small-bore automatic rifle widely used by PLA troops.
The Type-95 automatic rifle and the Type-03 automatic rifle due to appear in this year's military parade will inevitably attract a great deal of attention.
By People's Daily Online