posted on Mar, 24 2005 @ 04:13 PM
The detailed information regarding the new Chinese AWACS is unknown. However, it is estimated that the aircraft is comparable to the Russian A-50 in
general flight performance.
The Chinese AWACS is based on the airframe of the Russian A-50 AWACS aircraft, which was developed and manufactured by the Beriev Aircraft Research
and Engineering Complex Joint Stock Company based at Taganrog in the Rostov Region of Russia. The A-50’s airframe was developed from the llyushin
IL-76MD military transport aircraft manufactured by the Ilyushin Aviation Complex Joint Stock Company based in Moscow. The most distinctive difference
on the A-50 airframe is the removal of the 'glass-in' nose of the IL-76MD.
The A-50 carries out patrol missions at an altitude of 5,000m to 10,000m. The patrol service ceiling is 10,000m. The maximum flight range of the
aircraft is 5,000km and the flight endurance is 7 hours 40 minutes. At a range of 2,000m, the A-50 can remain on patrol for up to 1 hour 25 minutes.
The Chinese A-50 airframe also has a fixed in-flight refuelling probe, which could be refuelled by the IL-78 Midas tanker. This will significantly
increase the range and flight endurance of the aircraft.
AIRBORNE EARLY WARNING RADAR
The Chinese AWACS has a unique phased array radar (PAR) carried in a round radome. Unlike the U.S. AWACS aircraft, which rotate their rotodomes to
give a 360 degree coverage, the radar antenna of the Chinese AWACS does not rotate. Instead, three PAR antenna modules are placed in a triangular
configuration inside the round radome to provide a 360 degree coverage.
The Chinese-made airborne earning warning radar system could be similar in capability to the IAI Phalcon, but may not be as capable as the latter. The
Phalcon system could track up to 60~100 targets at the same time and guide a dozen fighters in all-weather, day and night operations.
The photos of the KJ-2000 indicate that the aircraft has an aerial refuelling probe in its nose. If the aircraft can be refuelled by the Russian-made
IL-78 Midas tanker, its flight endurance and effectiveness could be further increased."