State owned China Daily reported that China plans to build 1,000 Y-20 strategic heavy lift aircraft designed by Xi'an Aircraft Industrial Corporation. The specs of the USA and Russia heavy lift aircraft as below.
Country Max Payload(t) Max Range(km) Inventories
Boeing C-17 USA 78 10,390 222
Y-20 China 66 10,000+ 1000(future)
Il-76 Russia 60 119
The plane's engines will initially be imported, but it is only a matter of time before the Y-20 is equipped with domestically developed engines, he said. The plane has a maximum payload of 66 metric tons and a maximum takeoff weight of more than 200 tons, according to military sources. The high payload means it can carry the PLA's heaviest tank, the 58-ton Type-99A2.
According to a technical evaluation in Aerospace Knowledge, the Y-20 when fully fueled and carrying a payload of 51 tons can fly for 5,200 kilometers. This means it can reach everywhere in Europe and Asia, the US state of Alaska, Australia and North Africa.
China will also develop transport jets that are even larger than the Y-20 and comparable to the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy from the United States and the Antonov An-225 Mriya, designed in the former Soviet Union.
Strategic heavy airlift capability is one of the most important criteria for a state to be a superpower. The more than 200 C-17 allows USA to put divisions and hundreds of panzers in the doorstep of her enemies, thousands of km away, within days. It can also serve as air-refueling.
China does not have such capability yet. She cannot project her military power to far away continent,
The development indigenous design and production capability of military airlift followed by massive acquisition of PLAAF will be a game changer.