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Chinese AEW aircraft 50pc more efficient than US ones

Global Times | Published: July 07, 2019 18:05:49 | Updated: July 13, 2019 18:53:48


Photo: China Military

China's aerial early warning (AEW) aircraft are 50 per cent more efficient than US ones in terms of electromagnetic resources utility.

Military analysts said on Sunday that the Chinese aircraft could retain maximum detection and communication capabilities even under strong hostile electromagnetic interference.

Tang Xiaobin, a senior scientist at the state-owned China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC), developed an innovative theory on utilizing electromagnetic resources more efficiently and put it into use after she joined the Chinese AEW aircraft project in 1999.

Electromagnetic compatibility is a constant problem in electronic warfare, as strong radiation from electronic warfare antennas could interfere with other equipment on aircraft, resulting in a decrease in electromagnetic resources efficiency.

Usually these incompatibilities must be found and solved one by one, which takes a lot of time and is not applicable on the more complicated AEW aircraft, so Tang designed a methodology to consider the electromagnetic environment as a whole by separating different electromagnetic energies into two categories: One that boosts certain capabilities, and one that hinders certain capabilities.

Specifics on the methodology were not detailed in the report, but it said that the methodology helped Chinese AEW aircraft enjoy a 50 per cent increase in electromagnetic resources utility efficiency compared with mainstream US AEW aircraft.

Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military analyst, told the Global Times on Sunday that AEW aircraft could face strong electromagnetic interference from enemy forces, and this methodology could help protect aircraft systems from such attacks without having compatibility problems of its own.

Thanks to this, China's AEW aircraft are more reliable (than US ones) and will always make the best of its electromagnetic resources, retaining its maximum detection and communication capabilities, Wei said.

China now operates multiple types of AEW aircraft including the KJ-200, KJ-500 and KJ-2000.

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