You Won't Believe the Image the Chinese Air Force Just Used on Its Propaganda Website

Last week, the China Air Force Network, part of the Chinese Ministry of Defense and the propaganda organ of the PLAAF, did a propaganda piece on the awesome training of the PLAAF and focused on a couple of pilots as the lead characters for the story. I don’t read Chinese, but you can get a flavor of the article via Google’s translation feature here.

One of the images in the article is a missile leaving a wingtip launch rail.
chinese-missile-image

You’ll note they have burned into the lower right corner the PLAAF logo and a claim for the source.

There’s a problem with that. The missile and aircraft are American.

Interesting. I’m not an authority on the PLAAF and its equipment but the missile leaving the rail does look amazingly like a AGM-88 HARM (which is the reason the Russians have not fired up their fire control radars in Syria). If you use an image search via TinEye you discover a half-dozen or so places were this photo is located and some of them identify it as an F-16. From the sites hosting the image, it appears to be an Italian Air Force fighter. For instance, see the bottom right image:

f16-italy-image

It is also available as wallpaper for your PC monitor.

I’m sure there is an intellectual property issue there to be wrestled with but the irony of the PLAAF using an image they pulled from the internet to illustrate a propaganda piece on how studly the PLAAF is, is just too rich.