China strengthens defence ties with Russia as part of non-NATO war games

China strengthens defence ties with Russia as part of non-NATO war games

The International Army Games, founded by Russia in 2014, will kick off today.

459f97f39ac24383934f702cdcdbd77b_8

Photo: Reuters/Maxim Zmeyev

The International Army Games, founded by Russia in 2014, will kick off today. The competitions will be hosted by six other countries as well, including China and Iran.

Nearly 200 teams from 32 mostly non-NATO countries will attend the games, which provide a chance to demonstrate their military might and learn valuable information regarding other nations’ capabilities. China will especially be looking to capitalise on this opportunity, sending a number of high tech aircraft, including its air force’s primary bomber, the H-6K.

The strategic long-range bomber is a 21st century version of an old Soviet plane, roughly equivalent to the US’ B-52s—which has flown for 60 years already and won’t be out of service until 2050—albeit boasting a slightly shorter range with less weaponry. With Beijing increasing its presence in the South China Sea and expanding its military capabilities beyond ground operations, the H-6K promises to be vital.

While the bomber remains largely untested against other nations’ aircraft, expect the next month of military exercises to change that; China will take every chance to learn about its aircraft’s capabilities. However, in turn expect other nations to learn about China’s air force, including Washington which will likely spy on the event.

Delve deeper: The PLA in transition: in pursuit of the ‘China Dream’

Wake up smarter with an assessment of the stories that will make headlines in the next 24 hours. Download The Daily Brief.