Chinese Combat Aircraft Mock Ups Appear At Marine Corps Auxiliary Airfield in North Carolina


JJ-7 J-20
A screenshot from a video by Cpl. Nicholas Cox with the Marine Corps Combat Service Support Schools shows what seems to be a PLAAF JJ-7 (J-7 trainer variant) next to J-20 mock up at MCOLF Atlantic. In the box, Google Earth image of MCOLF Atlantic.

We already knew a J-20 mock up was at Bogue Field, North Carolina, since 2019. A new video shows that the full scale replica was (most probably) moved to MCOLF Atlantic where at least one (possibly two) Fishbed-derivative trainer mock up is based.

As some of our readers may remember, in December 2018, we discovered that a Chengdu J-20 Mighty Dragon mock up was parked in front of the USAF Air Dominance Center at the Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport, Georgia.

A few days later, we also got the confirmation from the Col. Emmanuel Haldopoulos, Commander of the Savannah Air Dominance Center, that the aircraft, was “a full scale replica and remained at the Air Dominance Center for a short period during the week of 4-6 Dec [2018]. The USMC is funding and directing the training objectives of this device […] .

The specific role of the realistic, full scale mock-up was not completely clarified by official U. S. Marine Corps sources. A statement to Marine Corps Times from Marine Corps Training and Education Command, or TECOM, said the mock-up Chinese aircraft we had spotted was used for visual and sensor training.

The photo of the J-20 mock up in front of the Air Dominance Center we were sent by a reader who wished to remain anonymous in 2018.

As this author explained in a detailed report that you can find here:

It’s pretty common for both the U.S. Marine Corps and the USAF and USN to use realistic peer rival aircraft for training purposes or even for realistic aggressive opposing forces training. For instance, in 2018, the U.S. Marine Corps Air Ground Task Force Training Command filed a solicitation for contractors to provide Russian-built Mi-24 Hind attack helicopter, equipped with electronic tracking pods for integration into simulated combat exercises at the MCAS Yuma Range and Training Area (RTA) to serve as accurate opposing forces threat simulation aircraft. The same is done by the other U.S. services, including the U.S. Air Force, that operates two Mi-24s at Davis-Monthan AFB for dissimilar aerial training with HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters (and also trains with some secretive Su-27 inside Area 51, as we reported in details back in 2017).

David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


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