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Hawker Siddeley Harrier Mk.51 - People's Liberation Army Air Force, 1976

Interest in the Hawker P.1127 programme surged after the 1967 Six-Day War and whilst most interest faded within a few months the Chinese government kept an official observer status on the project until 1972 when they signed up for 60 Harrier Mk.51 aircraft. Apart from the PLAAF's genuine interest in the aircraft it was also clearly a political deal that saw the Chinese government officially recognise the British government's position on Hong Kong who, in turn, acknowledged China's position on Taiwan (albeit whilst not agreeing to it). The Chinese government also received permission to licence build the aircraft with the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation building a further 200 Harrier Mk.52's.






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