According to Wang Mingliang, a military expert with the Air Force Command College of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), in the early days of the founding of the PLA Air Force, nearly all aircraft and equipment were bought from foreign countries. For instance, when it came to the early years of 1980s, major countries in the world began to use third-generation aircraft, but the PLA Air Force at that time, with only a small proportion of second-generation fighters, still took the first-generation J-6 fighters as its main players.
In the face of the great challenge brought forth by the new military change in the world, the PLA Air Force initiated its information construction by centering on the objective of “winning information-based war and building an information-based force”.
Presently, the weapons and equipment construction of the PLA Air Force has again kept up with the pace of the rapid development of the weapons and equipment of the air forces of major developed countries. The weapons and equipment of the PLA Air Force have preliminarily realized the transition from mainly defensive to both defensive and offensive.
Wang Mingliang held that the most proud leapfrog of the weapons and equipment construction of the PLA Air Force is the development from introduction of foreign weapons and equipment to the independent research and development of weapons and equipment. The categories of homemade weapons and equipment such as J-10 and J-11B fighters, JH-7A fighter bombers, early warning aircraft and new-type ground-air missiles are expanding quickly. These home-made weapons and equipment are approaching or reaching the world advanced level.
Especially, the successful development of J-10 fighter makes China one of the few countries which can independently develop the third-generation aircraft. Therefore, the PLA Air Force has for the first time come up to the world forefront by having a good command of the advanced equipment based on independent research and development.
After 60 years of development, the PLA Air Force has now basically formed a weapon and equipment system which is mainly composed of the third-generation aircraft and homemade weapons and equipment,is featured with precision and based on network.