Netizens in the past few days have been spreading a video showing a crashed Chinese fighter jet. The Sound of Hope said this fighter crash happened on April 23, in a wheat field in Caolou Village, Zhangji Town, Yucheng County, Henan Province.
This is not the first time that Chinese fighters are crashed. There have been frequent reports of Chinese military aircraft crashes in recent years.
DW reported that in early 2018, a Chinese Army plane crashed during a training flight. This accident happened in Guizhou province. However, the Chinese Air Force did not say whether there were any casualties in the accident.
According to CNN, in November 2016, two Chinese Air Force aircraft collided during a training flight, killing Yu Xu, China’s first female fighter pilot.
Two years earlier, As News reported, a Shenyang J-15 on the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning crashed during a training flight, and two pilots died after parachuting.
In March of this year, a Chinese Air Force Y-8 anti-submarine plane is believed to have crashed in the South China Sea and lost contact. Chinese media did not report on the accident. Nevertheless, numerous events and subsequent reports corroborated the incident.
The US has alleged that Russia offered China weapons for its invasion of Ukraine. The US later stated that it had not seen evidence of China supporting Russia with weapons. However, observers suspect that even if Russia needs China’s arms support, Beijing is unlikely to be able to help. The frequent crashes of Chinese Air Force aircraft and China’s weapons show that China does not have much potential to help Russia.
In a commentary on Chinese-language media Da Ji Yuan, writer Shen Zhou shared the remark. He showed some reasons for assisting his belief.
Russia needs modern fighters to prevail over Ukraine; the country receives active support in weapons and finance from the West. However, most of China’s fighters are imported from Russia, and most are outdated.
China has only 100 Su-30. These fighters are more than ten years old and have a lot of wear and tear. Therefore, Beijing can only supply clones of J-11B or Su-27 to Russia. Meanwhile, Moscow needs Su-30, and the number of Su-27 Russia owns surpasses China’s.
Russia has produced more than 630 Su-30s, yet most of them have sold out, and now they have only about 100 left to use. India is currently the country that owns the most Su-30 globally, with 272. Nevertheless, New Delhi has good relations with the US and the West, so it cannot help Russia.
If the war with Ukraine drags on, Russia could face a severe shortage of Su-30 as the production of this type of aircraft requires a long time.
Beijing claims to have nearly 500 self-developed J-10 fighters. But these light fighters, mainly used for air defense, lack ground attack capabilities and have a minimal range. So these may not be the kind of fighters Russia needs.
China now has the J-16. It is supposed that the J-16 is a relatively modern fighter. A Chinese flight instructor claims that the J-16 is superior to the Su-30. If the flight instructor’s statement is true, maybe Russia wants to use this fighter for its war with Ukraine.
However, Russian pilots may not be familiar with this type of fighter and must take time to get used to it. This could be why the fighter that crashed in the video mentioned above is believed to be a J-16.
Besides, the J-16 needs to be compatible with Russia’s weapons systems. Hence this type of aircraft that Beijing is proud of is not necessarily able to help Moscow in the ongoing, increasingly fierce war with Ukraine.
Writer Shen Zhou also said that Russia is losing a lot of surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles in the war in Ukraine. However, Shen believes that Beijing is also unlikely to provide missile support to Russia.
A lot of Chinese missiles are bought from Russia and are now old. China’s self-made missiles, such as the DF (Dongfeng)-15 and DF-16, are not as good as the Russian Istandel missile.
Moreover, the Dongfeng missile was developed in the mid-70s and is based on the design of the Soviet SS-22 ballistic missile. Because of this, maybe Russia will not like this type of missile.
Shen believes that China will only be capable of assisting Russia with satellite services or supplying rocket manufacturing parts, such as chips or circuit boards.