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Birds cooking in the South China Sea

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posted on Jul, 26 2005 @ 05:17 PM

As it has been reported over the last free months, that the chinese have been introducing a new range of AWAC type control aircraft.

Chinese AEW&C Aircraft Details
Following reports last year of an indignously-developed chinese airborne early warning and control system on an Ilyushin Il-76, it is now understood the the aircraft is designated the Kong Jing-2000 (KJ-2000). A Chinese airborne radar system was installed by Xian Aircraft in the basic A50I airframe after its transfer from Israel when China was forced to abandon the controversial Phalcon deal under pressure from the US. First flight after conversion was in November 2003.

A Second KJ-2000 now flying is reported to be a conversion of a PLAAF/China United Airlines Il-76MD. Both are now undergoing operational testing and evaluation with the China Flight Test Establishment at Xian Yanliang.

Unlike the Russian A-50 and US E-3, the radome on the KJ-2000 does not rotate but houses three electronically steered phased array antenna modules in a triangular configuration in order to give 360 coverage. The Radar is reported to have been developed by the Nanjing Research Institute, but the full abilities of the system are as yet unknown.

Now the Tawianese have ordered more of the E-2 Hawkeye radar systems from the Americans:

Tawian E-2T Deliveries
A Further two Northrop Grumman E-2T Hawkeyes for the Republic of China Air Force, arrived in Kaohsiung Harbour, Taiwan, on May 19 after being shipped from the US on a Yangming Marine Transport Corporation Container ship. After unloading at Kaohsuing, they were transported to the RoCAF base at Pingtung North, where they will join the four existing RoCAF E-2ts in service with the 20th Electronic Warfare Squadron.

They are being upgraded to the E-2 2000 version, the more powerful AN/APS-145 radar.

What does this mean in terms of the respective airforces, is this a tit for tat system similar to the cold war or do these two respective nations know of some thing that could mean a possible conflict within the next few years as every one has been talking about.

I don't know, this to a degree is worrying, one of the keys to ruling the skys over the strait requires that to either take over the strait or defend it, EW aircraft will be a key point more so in respect to the Chinese, although I am interested to see if the chinese do use them in the same way that Soviet Pilots where tied to their respective ground controllers, some thing the chinese have only very recently been trying to change.

What do you think the impact of these new aircraft will have, in terms of the possible conflict or in the already cold relations of the two nations.

- Phil

[edit on 26-7-2005 by gooseuk]

posted on Jul, 26 2005 @ 06:51 PM
For Taiwan I think it is more critical. Thier war will be won or lost in the air. Unless the Chinese intend to burn it down to bedrock, China will have to have air superiority to invade. Otherwise the PLAN and PLAFF will have a short but exciting life.

posted on Jul, 27 2005 @ 06:25 AM
I agree whole heartly, At the moment there have been pictures and information posted on this forum speaking of Y-8 AEW variants that the Chinese seem to be pumping out as quick as they can get the production line, does just show a trend towards the chinese developing means to counter the RoCAF?

- Phil

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