China's Y-9 hospital aircraft holds first mission abroad

Global Times
Huang Panyue
2023-09-20 16:05:40

A Y-9 medical rescue aircraft on static ground display at the Airshow China 2021 being held in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province from September 28 to October 3, 2021 Photo: Liu Xuanzun/GT

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force's Y-9 medical rescue aircraft for the first time participated in a mission abroad during the ongoing military medical services exercise between China and Cambodia in Phnom Penh, with analysts saying that China has built a multidimensional battlefield medical aid system that can offer international public security goods.

The China-Cambodia Peaceful Angel-2023 joint humanitarian exercise entered the full-course joint training phase on Monday, with the two sides sending more than 700 personnel to the drill, the PLA Daily reported on Tuesday.

It marks the first time that the Y-9 medical rescue aircraft has participated in a mission abroad, and the first time the PLA has displayed its air transport and medical evacuation modules overseas, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Monday.

Featuring the Y-9 hospital aircraft, the backbone equipment of the PLA's aerial medical evacuation, the exercise explored and established the full-chain, full-element, combat-oriented deployment mechanism of the aviation medical aid force, the report said.

The Y-9 medical rescue aircraft is a dedicated hospital aircraft based on the Y-9 transport aircraft that can allow diagnosis, treatment, rescue and minor surgeries to be completed in the air, CCTV reported.

With a complete set of life support systems, the aircraft can complete long-distance evacuation for the wounded in critical condition in the shortest time, the report said.

The plane can "host aerial medical evacuation for the wounded in large numbers, and during the process, provide continued medical monitoring and life support for those in critical condition and serve as an aerial ICU," Zhang Shijie, a member of the PLA medical team participating in the joint exercise, said in the CCTV report.

The Chinese military has developed a complete spectrum of field medical equipment, including modularized field hospital vehicles on the ground, hospital ships at sea and hospital aircraft in the air, a Chinese military expert told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Such multidimensional field first aid capabilities, an important aspect in combat support, can lower casualties and preserve effective strength in battle, the expert said.

Their capability to complete overseas missions means that China can provide international public security goods, contributing to global peace and stability and taking responsibility as a major power, the expert said.

After the 79-day Harmonious Mission-2023 goodwill visits and humanitarian medical service voyage, the PLA Navy hospital ship Peace Ark on Tuesday returned to a naval port in Zhoushan, East China's Zhejiang Province, CCTV reported on Tuesday.

During the tour, the Chinese hospital ship sailed for more than 12,000 nautical miles and visited Kiribati, Tonga, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste, hosting 41,358 medical treatments and 192 surgeries, winning appreciation from local governments, residents and the international community, the report said.

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