Recent rehearsals for the 3 September Beijing parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of Japan's surrender in China provided the first views of some new weapons in the People's Liberation Army (PLA) arsenal.
The PLA plans to showcase its increasingly capable weaponry, from guns and missiles to tanks and fighter jets. An estimated 12,000 troops, between 100 and 200 aircraft, and some 500 pieces of equipment are expected to participate in the event, according to CNN.
If the parade includes the same weapons used for rehearsals, the Dong Feng missiles ranging from short range variants to intercontinental ballistic types will be shown publically for the first time.
According to IHS Jane's the most prominent revelation was the DF-26 3,000-4,000 km IRBM. Based on early images of the transporter-erector-launcher (TEL), it is produced by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). This 12x12 TEL, first revealed by Chinese sources in February 2013, is likely based on CASC's Tai'an Corporation HTF5680 vehicle.
Rehearsals also revealed what appears to be a full-scale model of the PLA Navy's YJ-12 ramjet-powered supersonic anti-ship missile. Resembling a lengthened Russian Zvezda Kh-31 ramjet-powered ASM, the YJ-12 is estimated to have a range between 250 km and 400 km and a maximum speed of Mach 2.5. It is currently carried by the Xian Aircraft Corporation H-6G naval bomber.
The event may include appearances by China’s fifth-generation stealth aircraft, including the Chengdu J-20 twin-engine fighter, Shenyang J-31 twin-engine multi-role attack aircraft and the J-18 jump-jet. The J-20 is a potential long-range asset that reportedly lifted designs from the F-22 and is tipped to enter service in 2018. The J-31 is a multi-role aircraft designed in part for exports and is expected to enter service around the same time or 2019. The J-18 is a vertical takeoff and landing variant designed for use aboard aircraft carriers.