Fri. Apr 12th, 2024

China Tests New KJ-600 ADF Aircraft: What We Know About The Machine

Despite successful flight tests, questions remain about the KJ-600's effectiveness as a deck-based aircraft.

In March 2024, images showing China's newest aerospace achievement appeared on Chinese social networks — the advanced airborne early warning (AEW) KJ-600 aircraft, which is designed to be deployed on the aircraft carriers of the People's Liberation Army (PLA). The car is currently undergoing testing. On March 26, the columnists of Army Recognition told in detail about the new aircraft of the Chinese Air Force.

The article says that the creators of the KJ-600 were inspired by the ideas of the E-2 Hawkeye deck-based turboprop long-range radar detection aircraft of the US Navy. . The Chinese machine is also equipped with turboprop engines and has a robust design with a spacious fuselage that can accommodate a group of four to six people, which is very important for long surveillance and control missions.

Features of the KJ-600

< p>The aircraft's most noticeable feature is the large radar dome on top of the fuselage, which is believed to house an advanced Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar system.

The KJ-600 is presented in gray and has a straight, high-slung wing. , characteristic “four-winged” tail and three-wheeled chassis. According to the analysis of satellite images, the wingspan of the KJ-600 is 24.4 m, and the length — 18.4 m, which indicates its compactness and ability to operate effectively from aircraft carriers.

According to observers, the Chinese machine showed significant success in flight tests. However, the most important tests of launching from a catapult and returning to the initial position for basing on an aircraft carrier have not yet received visual confirmation.

“Reports from late 2023 of 'intensive testing' involving four to six prototypes indicate that the KJ-600 development program is at an advanced stage and potentially approaching small-scale initial production,” — the authors of the article noted.

With plans to integrate the KJ-600 into PLA operations, China is ready to strengthen its maritime surveillance and aerial control capabilities, thereby strengthening its strategic position at sea.

Compatibility with aircraft carriers

Meanwhile, questions remain about the effectiveness of the KJ-600 as a carrier-based aircraft, especially compared to American counterparts that use the CATOBAR (Catapult Assisted Take-Off But Arrested Recovery) launch configuration. In addition, there is no concrete evidence of the compatibility of the KJ-600 with existing Chinese aircraft carriers — Liaoning and Shandong equipped with jump decks.

Analysts suggest that China's third aircraft carrier in the pipeline may have a flat deck equipped with electromagnetic catapults, matching the operational requirements of the KJ-600.

By admin

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