TAIPEI — China has begun production of the AG600 Amphibious Aircraft at manufacturing facilities in Zhuhai, China. The aircraft is the largest of any amphibious aircraft now in production in the world, according to Chinese-language media reports.
Chinese media reports also indicate that the same company building the AG600, China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co. (CAIGA), is also working on a smaller aircraft dubbed the H660. Both aircraft were unveiled at the 2014 China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition (Zhuhai Airshow) for the first time as models.
The AG600, according to Zhuhai brochures, is capable of four missions: fire fighting, search and rescue, cargo transport, and maritime law enforcement. The aircraft can carry up to 50 persons and has a range of 3,400 miles at 350 miles per hour.
The aircraft is well within round-trip range of Chinese military forces occupying Woody Island in the South China Sea from China's southern coastline of Hainan Island.