Several Chinese Air Force bombers have landed on islands and reefs in the South China Sea as part of ongoing landing and takes-off drills in the disputed region, the Chinese Air Force said in a statement.
The various type of aircraft, including the long-range, nuclear strike-capable H-6K strategic bomber arrived to the islands after a series of simulated strikes on targets at sea.
“A division of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) recently organized multiple bombers such as the H-6K to conduct take-off and landing training on islands and reefs in the South China Sea in order to improve our ability to reach all territory, conduct strikes at any time and strike in all directions,” the statement said, without mentioning the precise location of the exercise.
The statement, published on the air force’s Weibo microblogging account, quoted defense expert Wang Mingliang as saying that the takeoff and landing drills exercises will help the air force “strengthen its combat capability to deal with maritime security threats.”
China has engaged in years of land-reclamation efforts on islands and reefs in the South China Sea and has built a number of both civilian and military facilities in the contested region.