PLAN Increases Carrier-Based Fighter Pilot Intake

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The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has announced the completion of its pilot cadet recruitment for this year. In an indication of the PLAN’s efforts to induct more pilots for its carrier-based aircraft, Chu Hanqiang, Director of the PLAN’s Pilot Recruitment Office, stated, “the number of carrier-based fighter pilot cadets enrolled reached 49 percent of the total enrollment in 2020, which can effectively meet the needs of the PLA Navy’s aircraft carrier development.” Demand for carrier-based aircraft pilots and associated other personnel has increased manifold within the PLAN in recent years.

According to the statement issued in, more than 16,000 candidates participated in the recruitment process. More pilot cadets were enrolled than initially planned and a third of the enrolled candidates were from PLAN affiliated youth aviation schools. The PLAN has also adopted new medical identification standards for the first time in its recruitment testing, with a focus on corneal topography screening, visual contrast sensitivity, stereo vision, vestibular and spine functions. New psychological selection standards were also applied and college entrance examination scores were considered for the selected pilot cadets.


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