The Peoples Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) recently trained together at the Shaheen-X joint air exercises held in Northwest China. 

The 10th edition of the joint air exercises, began on August 28 in Jiuquan, Northwest China's Gansu Province and Yinchuan, Northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Xinhua News Agency reported.

“The exercise was aimed at validating interoperability in the face of realistic contemporary air combat scenarios between the two strategic allies,” the PAF said in a release. 

The PLAAF contingent included Shenyang J-16 fighter jets (a Chinese copy of the Sukhoi-30), and Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft, while the PAF took part with its recently acquired Chengdu J-10C and JF-17 fighter aircraft. The JF-17 “Thunder” is a single-engine light fighter, jointly developed by Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC), Kamra and Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation (CAC) of China.

Pakistan commissioned the first batch of Chinese-developed J-10Cs in March 2022, and they can operate seamlessly with the PLAAF’s KJ-500 AEW platform.

The Shaheen joint exercises began in 2011 which are hosted by both countries on an alternate basis.