A group of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force bombers have recently conducted a long-range real combat drill, a move aimed at further enhancing its capability in warfare, the PLA Air Force announced on Tuesday.
The PLA Air Force has sent a total of 12 H-6K bombers from its historically elite Shenwei Unit (Divine Might) from China's Guanzhong Plain region for the maneuver, read an article posted on the PLA Air Force official Sina Weibo account on Tuesday.
The article did not disclose the exact objectives for this latest maneuver, but the post came after reports that Taiwan on Monday claimed to have scrambled aircraft to shadow military planes from China's mainland as they flew through the Bashi Channel to the south of the island.
Historically, the PLA Air Force has carried out missions including surveying and mapping Mount Qomolangma, known as Mount Everest in the West, as well as dropping atomic and hydrogen bombs, read the post.
At the beginning of the the 2018 Chinese New Year, H-6K bombers from the Shenwei Unit overcame two weeks of freezing and rainy weather in the Guandong Plain region and practiced maneuvers including emergency response at night and long-endurance flights night and day.
The force's all-weather long range combat capability was verified and enhanced from the training, the article said.
It also noted in the article that the unit flew over the Bashi Channel and Miyako Strait near the island of Taiwan for the first time in March 2015.
The PLA Air Force unit also performs missions including routine high-sea drills in the West Pacific, regular patrols in the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone and military patrols in the South China Sea, as well as "island circling" missions.
The pilots of the H-6K bombers from the Shenwei Unit had inherited the red gene from Red Army, flying toward the goal of "arriving at all territories, assaulting at all times and places, and full-fledged attacks," the article quoted PLA Air Force spokesperson Shen Jinke as saying.