Four flights in four days: China delivered military cargo to Belarus again

January 30, 2024 5 minutes to read

From China to Minsk with a stop at the VIP parking lot.

At the beginning of January, the Belarusian Hajun monitoring group registered an unusual activity of the Air China Cargo at Minsk National Airport.  The same Boeing 747-4FTF transport aircraft (reg. number B-2476) has so far made four flights in four days from Urumqi (ZWWW) to Minsk (UMMS) and back.

Boeing 747-4FTF (B-2476) Boeing 747-4FTF (B-2476) Jetphotos

The schedule of arrivals was the following:

  • 08.01.2024 CAO1095 flight to Minsk, back – CAO1096;
  • 09.01.2024 CAO1097 flight to Minsk, back – CAO1098;
  • 10.01.2024 CAO1095 flight to Minsk, back – CAO1096;
  • 11.01.2024 CAO1097 flight to Minsk, back – CAO1098.

We also note that all the aircraft arrived in Minsk at the same time – from 09:30 to 10:10 a.m., and spent the same period of time in Minsk – 3 hours, which is enough for unloading. We may also assume that the flights were made in two batches (on January 8 and 9, on January 10 and 11).

We note that a transport and logistics center is located on the territory of Minsk National Airport, which is responsible for the service of arriving and departing cargo aircraft, so all cargo aircraft are usually parked in the special parking lots of the logistics center, but the Chinese B-2476 was parked in a completely different parking lot this time.

According to Belarusian Hajun,  all four times the Boeing 747 of the Air China Cargo took the 1A parking lot after landing.

This parking lot is reserved for servicing Belarusian government aircraft, in particular, EW-001PA and EW-001PB of Aliaksandr Lukashenka, as well as EW-301PJ when it is used by Viktar Lukashenka.

The Chinese aircraft at the 1A government parking lot at Minsk National Airport, 08.01.2024 The Chinese aircraft at the 1A government parking lot at Minsk National Airport, 08.01.2024 Satellite image

The 1A VIP parking lot is located at a distance from all other parking lots, and there is a checkpoint to the right of the parking lot to leave the airport by the shortest possible route and without visiting the security checkpoints in the building.

According to our data, the Air China Cargo aircraft delivered military equipment from China to Belarus. The cargo probably didn’t go through customs clearance and immediately left the airport, as there is no way to place the military cargo somewhere around the parking lot so as not to attract additional attention and not to be in the open air.

In this regard, we recall that Chinese CS/VN3 Dajiang (Dragon) armored vehicles have been in service with the Belarusian Armed Forces since 2017. The delivery of one of the batch of vehicles to Minsk in 2018 was captured in the story by the VoyenTV TV company. The footage shows that it happened with the help of exactly the same Boeing 747-4FTF cargo aircraft (reg. number B-2475) of Air China Cargo.

Delivery of the Dajiang vehicles to Belarus, 18.01.2018 Delivery of the Dajiang vehicles to Belarus, 18.01.2018 VoyenTV

At least four or five such armored vehicles can be on board the Boeing 747 as cargo for one flight. In addition to armored vehicles, the Belarusian military-industrial complex uses Chinese components for the production of the Polonez MLRS missiles.

It is not yet known what exactly was brought by four aircraft this time. But everything points to military cargo.