Chinese Air Force Jet Crashes, All Su-30s Grounded

By Lu Jianhui, Central News Agency
December 3, 2007 Updated: December 3, 2007

Hong Kong—The Hong Kong Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy revealed that one of the latest type of Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets imported from Russia crashed in Wanli Airport in Wuhu, Anhui Province on Nov. 21. All Su-30s in China have since been grounded for inspection.

The Information Center reported that the crashed Su-30 belonged to the Chinese Air Force's 9th league of Division 3. The aircraft crashed while attempting to land and was destroyed. The pilot escaped, but his situation is unknown. It was the first time that a Su-30 in the Chinese Air Force had an accident. The crash might have been caused by a problem in the landing gear hydraulic mechanism.

The Information Center pointed out that at present, China's other 99 Su-30 jets in Air Force Divisions 29 and 18, and in the naval air force have been grounded for inspection. The Su-30 is one of the world's most advanced fighter jets.

The Information Center said that China and Russia held lengthy negotiations [prior to the purchase of the jets]. Finally, in November 2000, China bought 100 Su-30 jets from Russia at a price of US$40 million for each. The Su-30 is the most advanced fighter jet in China at present. Its capability is much superior to the Su-27 and F-10.

The Information Center said that the United States is deploying the latest type of F22 in Guam. The only fighter plane that the Chinese Air Force can use to fight the U.S. Air Force is the Su-30. China is negotiating with Russia to update the capacities of its 100 Su-30 jets to the third-generation of Su-30 fighters, the latest type produced this year.

The Information Center said that Chinese military news is under extremely strict censorship. Even some military activities that greatly influence people's livelihood are not allowed to be reported. While conducting a military exercise last week, for example, a large-scale Air Transport Command was carried out in east China. Hundreds of flights and more than 10,000 passengers were affected but those passengers have no idea what happened.