CHENGDU, July 6, 2016 (Xinhua) -- Chen Gang (front), a division commander of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force, takes the oath during the hand over ceremony of the Y-20, China's homegrown large transport aircraft, in Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province, July 6, 2016. Y-20 officially joined the People's Liberation Army Air Force on Wednesday. (Xinhua/Liu Yinghua)
CHENGDU, July 6 (Xinhua) -- Y-20, China's homegrown large transport aircraft, officially joined the People's Liberation Army Air Force on Wednesday.
With a maximum takeoff weight of around 200 tonnes, the Y-20 is ideal for transporting cargo and people over long distances in diverse weather conditions.
On behalf of the Central Military Commission (CMC) and its chairman Xi Jinping, CMC vice chairman Xu Qiliang congratulated those who contributed to the research and production of the aircraft as well as the air force personnel.
Addressing a ceremony to hand over the freighter plane, Xu called for enhanced efforts to build capacity and boost innovative development in order to foster a new type of strong air transport force.
Xu urged beefing up aviation design and manufacturing, use and command of force, and equipment maintenance.
"The Y-20's entrance into service marks a crucial step for the Air Force in improving its ability in strategic power projection," said Air Force spokesperson Shen Jinke.
The Air Force needs more and better transportation to better fulfill its military responsibilities, including safeguarding national security as well as domestic and international rescue and relief work, Shen added.
The Air Force has provided aid and delivered relief supplies to Pakistan, Mongolia, Thailand, Nepal and other countries hit by disasters in recent years.
The China-designed and developed Y-20 completed its maiden flight in January 2013 and debuted at the 10th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in November 2014.