, 6 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Imminent Roll-Out For #China’s First Carrier-Based #AWACS Aircraft - China's carrier-based AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) is expected to leave the assembly line and conduct its first flight between late 2019 & late 2020. navalnews.com/naval-news/201…
While China’s 3rd aircraft carrier prepares for a keel laying sometime in 2019, another component of China's naval aviation should conduct its first flight soon: The AWACS, able to take off using a catapult & tasked with air & surface surveillance around the carrier strike group.
A carrier-based AWACS is a big first for China, so the time needed for the industrial phase & first flight of the prototype could be much longer. With this in mind, an educated guess would put the roll-out of the first Chinese AWACS between the end of 2019 & the end of 2020.
At the Zhuhai Air Show in 2018, a video was seen in which an AWACS features a back-to-back AESA radar. The aircraft, of medium size & propelled by two turboprop engines, featured a quadruple vertical tail. This is similar to the E-2 Hawkeye by Northrop Grumman.
This Chinese AWACS carries is fitted with the KLC-7 radar, also called “Silk Road Eye”. The latter is able to detect & track air targets, such as aircraft & missiles flying at very low altitude, as well as naval targets. The radar provides their coordinates in 3 dimensions.
It should be noted that a full scale model of an AWACS is currently “on board” the land-based aircraft carrier (in fact an electromagnetic compatibility study platform) of the 701 Institute (CSIC) in Wuhan.
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