Tuesday 23 October 2007

Crash of Chinese Surveillance Plane Hurts Effort on Warning System

China's efforts to field an early-warning aircraft that could help it project power far beyond its borders, and challenge American intervention in any conflict with Taiwan and India, were dealt at least a temporary blow by the crash of a surveillance aircraft on Sunday, defense specialists in the region said.The aircraft, described by two government-controlled newspapers in Hong Kong as a Chinese-made airborne warning and control system, or Awacs, plane, slammed into a hillside in central Anhui Province, killing all 40 technicians and crew members on board.
The crash was described as one of the worst disasters in the history of the Chinese Air Force. The Chinese news media said that Guo Boxiong, a top military official in Beijing, was supervising the investigation into the accident.The two Hong Kong newspapers, Ta Kung Pao and Wen Wei Po, carried articles on Monday that described the crash in more detail than did the rest of the Chinese news media. They did not identify the model of the plane, but regional experts suggested that it was most likely the KJ-2000, an early-warning aircraft that was developed using mostly technology developed in China.

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