Over the years, China developed a promising long-range radar surveillance and control aircraft, the Xian KJ-600
Janes Asia-Pacific expert Jon Grevatt said the AESA radar allows the KJ-600 to detect and track targets at a larger scale, improve situational awareness and gain a better understanding of an impending threat.
Along with that, Chinese military experts are very confident that the KJ-600 will bring advantages to the Chinese military. Currently, the country’s aircraft carriers still have to use helicopters and radar systems onboard to gather intelligence.
After completing the tests and officially equipping the KJ-600, China will become the third country to own a fixed-wing airborne early warning and control aircraft, operating on a carrier after the US Navy and France.
Although the Chinese military is very confident in the capabilities of the KJ-600 and the advantages it offers, according to US military experts, the KJ-600 is only higher than the An-24 and far behind the US E-2 Hawkeye.
In order to carry out its mission, the E-2 is equipped with a special disc above the body, fitted the AN/APS-145 surveillance radar, and the OL-483/AP Identification friend or foe system.
Each AN/APS-145 system on the original E-2 was capable of detecting 2,000 targets and locking 40 targets at a distance over 300 km, able to detect targets at a range of 450 km. The radar is also resistant to geophysical interference and enemy electronic warfare measures, the US Navy said.
According to international military experts, the AESA radar system on the KJ-600 can only detect targets at a maximum distance of 200km. Compared with the upgraded E-2, the Chinese aircraft has a target detection range of only half that of the US aircraft.
In addition to the radar system, the E-2s are also equipped with a variety of radio and data transmission combinations, to simplify operation, as well as connecting and transmitting target parameters for fleet fighters and electronic warplanes.