Wuhu airbase. A fighterbase directly covering Taiwan and the South China Sea.
The base hosts PLAAF 19th Division operating 19 Su-30MKK Flankers. Su-30MKK is an F-15E class aircraft and the 1st fighter bomber operated by PLAAF capable of carrying a wide range of Russian-made precision-guided air-to-surface weapons including TV guided missiles, anti-radiation missiles and TV guided bombs. It can also carry Sorbtsiya ECM pods as well as a Sapsan pod containing TV camera and laser designator and an APK-9 datalink pod underneath its air intake. Its maximum weapon load is 8 tons. Its range can be extended up to 5,200km by inflight refuelling, even though China currently doesn't have a suitable tanker yet.
As the result, it is expected to replace some of the roles of H-6 medium bomber to launch long range strikes against hi-value targets inside enemy territory. The aircraft features Su-35 style tailfins with square tips and twin nose wheels, a glass cockpit, an NIIP N001VE fire-control radar, engaging 2 aerial targets simultaneously, plus multiple AG modes capable of firing R-77E active radar homing AAM. The 1st test fire of R-77E by Su-30MKK was carried out June 2002. In addition, the older R-27 semi-active radar homing AAM may also be used. It was reported that Su-30MKK may be used as a mini-airborne command post to direct up to 16 of the same aircraft types via datalink to engage enemy aircraft. Unlike Su-30MKI acquired by IAF, it has no canard foreplanes, AL-31FP thrust-vectoring engine (Su-30MKK still uses AL-31F) and N-011M phased-array radar, however its delivery schedule is 2 1/2 years faster in standard config.
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