China’s PLA Air Force inducted its first two Y-20 strategic heavy-airlift transport aircraft (out of probable 400 more) in July 2016 to provide a considerable boost to China’s expeditionary and long-range power-projection capability.
|Y-20 Design Inspirations (Pic - news.cn)|
|Rep Image - Future Y-20 Tanker|
|Y-20 Glass Cockpit (pic-Focus)|
|Y-20 FLIR (Pic - Sina.com)|
|Y-20 HUD (Pic- CCTV-4)|
|ShenLong under H6(Pic - Tiexue.Net)|
|Y-20 Cargo Hold (Pic- Focus)|
Chinese experts expected in 2007 that the development phase of Y-20 aircraft will conclude in about 8-10 years and large scale deliveries would begin in 2017. The development program has so far maintained the schedule. Chinese experts expect that the PLA requires anywhere from 400 to 100o Y-20 aircraft for long range power projection and strategic airlift. However, the final production of Y-20 aircraft may remain in single digits for a foreseeable future. China has embarked on the development of four transport aircraft simultaneously, namely, Y-20, Comac C919, ARJ-21 and Y-9 aircraft. A large number of skilled personnel are required to run these simultaneous manufacturing programs, which is not available in China. It is possible that China would prioritize one or two of these aircraft, however that would depend upon the demand and possibility of sale of civilian transport aircraft in the market.
|Y-20 Cargo Hold (Pic - Focus)|
|Y-20 Induction Ceremony (Pic -Weibo.com)|