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Air show to display nation’s hardware

A People's Liberation Army Air Force J-10B fighter performs "Pugachev's Cobra", a high-agility maneuver at the 12th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, in 2018. (PHOTO BY ZHOU GUOQIANG / FOR CHINA DAILY)

China's defense contractors will display much of their latest hardware at the upcoming 13th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, the largest arms show in the nation, according to executives.

Zhou Guoqiang, assistant to the general manager of Aviation Industry Corp of China and spokesman for the State-owned defense conglomerate, told a news conference in Beijing on Tuesday that his company will bring 150 fighter jets, helicopters, drones, missiles and other equipment to the biennial exhibition, which is scheduled for Sept 28 to Oct 3 in Zhuhai, Guangdong province.

Zou Wenchao, a deputy general manager of China North Industries Group, said his company plans to send 153 pieces of equipment to the event, ranging from main battle tank to small unmanned planes, and 62 of the exhibits will be displayed at the exhibition for the first time

Nearly 40 percent of the hardware will be on show at the exhibition for the first time, and an AG600 seaplane prototype is set to conduct its debut flight at the event, also known as the Zhuhai Airshow, Zhou said.

China's second amphibious aircraft, the AG600 made its maiden flight in December 2017 in Zhuhai, taking off and landing at a local airport. Ten months later, it carried out its first takeoff and landing on water at Zhanghe Reservoir in Jingmen, Hubei province.

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Zou Wenchao, a deputy general manager of China North Industries Group, said at the news conference that his company, the country's biggest maker of land armaments, plans to send 153 pieces of equipment to the event, ranging from main battle tanks and armored vehicles to smart munitions and small unmanned planes, and 62 of the exhibits will be displayed at the exhibition for the first time.

China South Industries Group, a major supplier of light weapons to the Chinese military, will show its newly developed firearms, light-duty assault vehicles and terminal defense equipment during the exhibition, according to He Jiwu, a deputy general manager of the company.

The exhibition is one of the largest defense exhibitions in the world and the only regular occasion for members of the public to closely observe Chinese weapons, especially those designed for export purposes.

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The 13th exhibition was originally scheduled to open in November last year, but was postponed due to the impact of COVID-19.

More than 700 enterprises from nearly 40 countries and regions have registered to participate at this year's event, according to the air show's organizing committee.