Hong Kong, Jan. 7 (CNA) A large number of old J-6 fighter jets that have been converted into unmanned attack aircraft are being stationed at Liancheng Air Base in Fujian province, according to the latest issue of Kanwa Defense Review.
China's Huanqiu.com cited the Canadian online magazine as saying that satellite photos taken on July 31, 2011 showed there were at least 55 of the J-6 aircraft on the base.
The magazine said the air base most likely has more J-6s than any other base in Fujian, showing that the Chinese Air Force attaches great importance to the capabilities of the unmanned fighter.
Reports said the J-6, the Chinese-built version of the Soviet MiG-19 "Farmer" fighter aircraft, was produced by Shengyang Aircraft Corp. and formed the backbone of the Chinese Air Force in the 1960s and the 1970s.
The J-6 fleet was retired in the late 1990s. But because of the J-6s' maneuverability, high thrust-to-weight ratio, and light weight and their suitability for close-distance combat, the planes have since been converted into unmanned attack fighters.
(By Stanley Cheung and Lilian Wu)