BEIJING, July 6 -- Two domestically made large transport aircraft Y-20 were officially delivered to the PLA Air Force on July 6, 2016, marking a crucial step forward for the PLA Air Force's strategic projection capability. July 6th marks the 5th anniversary of the commissioning of Y-20 transport aircraft. In just five years, Y-20 has played a good role in the PLA Air Force.
On July 6, 2016, a new generation of large-scale transport aircraft Y-20 (Kunpeng) developed independently by China with a take-off weight of 200 tons was unveiled in gray paint and officially entered service. Its commissioning marks a major victory in the development of domestically made large transport aircraft.
Y-20 can perform long-distance air transportation tasks of various materials and personnel under complex weather conditions. It is of great significance for advancing China's economic and national defense modernization, responding to emergencies such as rescue and disaster relief, humanitarian assistance, and improving the air force's strategic projection capability and the ability of the Chinese armed forces to perform their missions and tasks.
Since Y-20's commissioning, with the passage of time, people have unanimously changed the nickname for Y-20 from "Chubby Girl " to "Kunpeng". This means that Y-20 has grown from the "pearl of the palm" of the Chinese people to a fearless fighter who safeguards national security and people's well-being.
In the beginning of 2020, a sudden epidemic raged across China, and the health of the Chinese people was seriously threatened. On the morning of February 13, several Y-20 transport aircraft sent a large number of military medics and supplies to virus-hit Wuhan, capital of Hubei Province. This is the first time for Y-20 to undertake large-scale non-war military transportation mission since it entered service.
With the easing of domestic epidemic situation, Y-20 began to perform the task of sending materials to friendly countries and made a positive contribution to the global pandemic prevention and control. The PLA Air Force successively dispatched multiple transport aircraft, including Y-20, to deliver pandemic prevention and control materials to Pakistan, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan from April to May 2020.
In addition to sending anti-pandemic supplies globally, Y-20 also undertook multiple military transportation tasks. On June 13, 2020, 105 service members of the PLA Honor Guard arrived at Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow by Y-20 to participate in the Russian Victory Day parade in the Red Square. Three month later, during the Caucasus-2020 strategic drill held in Astrakhan Oblast, Russia in September, all the Chinese participants and equipment were delivered by Y-20 in a point-to-point and long-range manner. On September 27, a transport aircraft Y-20 labeled with the serial number 01 carried the remains of the Chinese People's Volunteers (CPV) martyrs back to China as a special plane. This is the first time that Y-20 has shouldered this special mission, which embodies the supreme respect of the motherland to the martyrs. On February 19, 2021, Y-20 escorted the remains of the PLA border-defending martyrs. The frontier heroes left their youth, blood, and even life in the Karakorum Mountains, Y-20 flew to the plateau and brought the heroes home.
At 9:22 a.m. on June 17, 2021, Shenzhou-12 crewed spacecraft was launched into space, taking a major step for China's space station construction, and making itself the first crewed spacecraft delivered by Y-20 to the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.
All these show that Y-20 has become a veritable "Heracles" of the PLA Air Force and has gradually assumed its responsibility in the armed forces.
Five years have gone by very fast, we expect that Y-20 can carry the hope of life with its strong body and bring lasting peace and happiness to all those who build it, believe in it, and rely on it. We firmly believe that Y-20 will be loyal and consistent, and make greater contributions to the construction of China's national defense equipment system.