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China’s Air Force Wraps Up Large Force Exercise- Likely “Red Sword 2020”

Starting in June 2020, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) appears to have held a large force exercise in and around the Gobi Desert area in northwest China. This exercise seems involved multiple branches of the PLAAF, including PLAAF aviation, mobile radar, and surface-to-air missile (SAM) units. Based on our understanding of observable activities associated with various PLAAF exercises, this event very likely was the PLAAF’s “Red Sword 2020” (红剑-2020) exercise which probably started in mid-June and ended sometime in early August.

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