Eugene K. Chow
Or is this just a bunch of fake news?
A new Chinese surveillance aircraft could take away a key advantage of American stealth jets.
China is building a carrier-launched plane equipped with advanced early-warning radar that could even spot stealth jets from afar.
Official state media has confirmed the development of the long-rumored KJ-600, a twenty-five to thirty ton twin turboprop plane built by Xian Aircraft Corporation with a large AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radar, which has the reported capability of locating stealth aircraft like U.S. F-22s and F-35s over two hundred miles away.
The sophisticated radar system emits radio waves along rapidly changing frequencies making it difficult to evade. China’s newest navy ships are equipped with this powerful radar system, but when the KJ-600 enters service it will provide naval operations with a significant boost.
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Chinese carrier battle groups currently have limited radar range due to the curvature of the earth. Low-flying objects and other ships are hard to detect at a distance, but as an air-based radar system the KJ-600 will act as an “eye in the sky” allowing ships to better see over the horizon.
Taking a page from the United States, the Chinese KJ-600 closely resembles the Northrop Grumman E-2 Hawkeye, a carrier-capable, all-weather early-warning aircraft.