Wednesday, January 24, 2018

KJ-600 carrier-based AEW aircraft .... stealth detector?

via Defense Aerospace.
China is developing a surveillance plane designed to be launched from the country’s newest aircraft carrier and fitted with a radar system to spot enemy stealth jets, military observers say.

State media confirmed for the first time on Monday that China was building its first carrier-borne early-warning plane called the KJ-600.

The announcement comes as the United States has deployed F-35 stealth jets to bases in Japan and other parts of the Asia-Pacific over the last year, challenging China’s air defences in the region.

Chinese military observers said the KJ-600 would be fitted with an advanced active electronically scanned array, or AESA, radar which could enable it to spot stealth aircraft such as US F-22s and F-35s. 

Beijing-based military expert Li Jie said the new surveillance plane could also become a command centre in the air. “AESA can detect stealth fighters at a very long range,” Li said.

He said the aircraft would fill a critical weapons gap with the US and improve the combat effectiveness of Chinese carrier battle groups.

Li said the KJ-600 would likely be used on China’s third aircraft carrier under construction in Shanghai and be compatible with its advanced electromagnetic launch system (EMALS). EMALS can launch jets more quickly and effectively than the ski-jump ramps used on China’s first two aircraft carriers.

US-based military website Eastern Arsenal reported last year that the KJ-600 was being built by Xi’an Aircraft Corporation, weighed 25-30 tonnes, was powered by twin turboprop engines, and had a large AESA radar on its fuselage.
Story here. 

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