Chinese AEW Aircraft 50 Percent More Efficient Than Those Used By US: Report
(Source: Global Times; published July 07, 2019)
A KJ-2000 airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft takes off for a flight training exercise during the "Red Sword-2017," a systemic confrontation training exercise held by the Chinese PLA Air Force in deep desert in late November, 2017. (Chinamil photo)
China's aerial early warning (AEW) aircraft are 50 percent more efficient than US ones in terms of electromagnetic resources utility, prompting military analysts to say 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, Beijing-based Science and Technology Daily reported on Friday.

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 percent 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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