China test flies heavy air force freighter as substitute for older Russian planes in service

Published January 28, 2013

| Associated Press

China says it has tested a heavy air force freighter that is mostly made at home and can substitute for the older Russian planes it uses now.

State media reported Monday that the Y-20 flew successfully from its development base near the northwestern city of Xi'an. The China Daily newspaper says the plane can fly 44,000 kilometers (27,300 miles) with 66 tons of freight, and is designed to fill the need for a stronger long-range heavy lift capacity.

China's now uses Russian IL-76 freighters, including in an early warning role. The reports say the Y-20 will use Russian jet engines until China develops replacements.

The plane compares to the U.S. Air Force's C-17 cargo planes.

Reports also say China successfully tested an anti-missile system Sunday but gave no details.

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