Thursday, November 7, 2013

New photos of China's new KJ-500 AEW emerge

More photos have emerged of the prototype KJ-500 Airborne Early Warning Aircraft. The new aircraft is based on the Shaanxi Y-9 turboprop transport, and features a fixed rotodome on the top fuselage, reportedly housing 3 Active Electronically Scanned Array radars providing 360° coverage. Additional sideways looking Synthetic Aperture Radar antennas also appear to be fitted, with 2 antennas on the rear fuselage side.

China already operates 2 other types of AEW aircraft, with the 11 KJ-200 aircraft (based on the Y-8 transport) and 5 KJ-2000s (based on the Ilyushin Il-76) already in service with the Chinese Air Force's 76th Electronic Warfare Regiment, 26th Special Mission Division at Wuxi-Shuofang.

And a couple of pretty well-done rendering of what the KJ-500 will look like, although the nosecone in the 1st rendering is of a typical Y-9. The KJ-500 seems to sport an enlarged nosecone, most likely housing a specialised radar set.

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