China has unveiled the new MA60H maritime patrol aircraft for to counter piracy and to back up its territorial claims in East Asia and the South China Sea. The South China Sea (and the Spratly Islands) is the site of an ongoing dispute between several neighboring nations.
The new maritime patrol aircraft is based on Xian’s MA60 regional turboprop and to provide a need for a surveillance aircraft for exclusive economic zone patrol.
The MA60 is a regional turboprop based on the 48-seat Antonov An-24, whose more-than-1,000-unit production run ended in 1979.
The MA60 can fly at a maximum speed of 514km/h. The cruise speed is 430km/h. The range and service ceiling of the aircraft are 1,600km and 7,620m respectively.