Chinese Radar Developments - KLJ series and others


Brumby

Major
Of course you are correct, but in that case it would be as equally incorrect to make speculation "X" as it is to make speculation "not X".
The question is whether we can use open source information, common sense, and some of the more reliable rumours to draw certain conclusions and judge the degree to which they are possible or impossible.

That is the typical nature of PLA watching in my experience, and that is what makes it so much more interesting to me, compared to watching other military forces.
The point is not about speculation per se but which is a better explanation. The more significant the claim the greater the corresponding demand on it to demonstrate its claim rather than not.
 

Bltizo

Lieutenant General
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Except that it has taken more than one generation of built to get there.
I feel like the original blog post has made TR module density a massive issue, as if it is some kind of valid benchmark to compare between two different industries.

The only really fair way to judge would be to make two countries start development of a new radar simultaneously and have a pre set end date for them to present their products. But in real life what tends to happen is that one guy A does things first and produces X product, and the other guy B a few years later can leverage some newer technology and their own R&D to produce Y product which is very similar to X and possibly a little better depending on how far behind guy B was and how much they invested into the type of technology compared to guy A, as well as the nature of the technology itself.
 

latenlazy

Colonel
You are entitled to your opinion. I did not write the article and so I will not labor beyond the norm.
I'm simply working off my understanding of technological development. There's a presumption about technological development as a linear process that's actually quite unfounded if you study the history of technology.


If the stated TR counts of the PLA AESA is accurate, it means the Chinese have not just caught up but surpassed the US in this AESA technology and all within one generation.
I wouldn't put it that way. Keep in mind that the comparisons used in the article are not new radars by any means. It's unlikely that the US isn't already working on a radar with greater module density. If there is a miniaturization limit though, I suspect it will have to do with cooling limitations and not module density.


The point is not about speculation per se but which is a better explanation. The more significant the claim the greater the corresponding demand on it to demonstrate its claim rather than not.
But what makes that argumentative demand an imperative is not standard of fact but believability. We're dealing with a particularly opaque subject that will perpetually frustrate those standards of believability. That does not make the claim less likely to be true.
 
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Bltizo

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The point is not about speculation per se but which is a better explanation. The more significant the claim the greater the corresponding demand on it to demonstrate its claim rather than not.
Logically I agree with you. Practically, and especially with regards to PLA watching, I think there are some maxims that must be bent a little, simply because of how little solid and reliable information there often is to "demonstrate" claims. I mean, if we went by that kind of logic, one could conceivably argue J-XX/J-20 was just simply the collective dream of PLA fanboys prior to us actually getting clear photos of it.

The way I deal with these kind of speculation is to make it clear that nothing with PLA development is ever set in concrete. We are always getting new rumours, new news reports, new photos, which may change the balance as to how likely scenario A is, or makes us assess or re assess a premise which might be necessary for a scenario to occur.
 
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Pmichael

Junior Member
Well, the adventage with electronics is that you can skip old technolgy and moves to the state of the art technolgy. No one would need to "master" the art of relays before producing computer transistors in 45nm for modern computer chips.
Unlike metallurgy for example.

And right now China is capable of producing AESA radars with comprable T/R module to size modules to the USA or Europe. That would be only possible if China is able to solve the same power and heat management problems.
Also no one would claim that the several European countries aren't capable of producing state of the art AESA radars for fighters although their AESA radars are still in developement (Eurofighter, Gripen) or in the phase of introduction (Rafale).
 

Ultra

Junior Member
In a sense that's true, but as your discrete elements get smaller and smaller smaller packaging is easier and easier to accomplish. I'm by no means saying that China is at the peak of module packaging technology, but China's not particularly backwards when it comes to telecoms or electronics. They have enough expertise and ability to compete for IT and Telecoms contracts globally, so I'm not sure suggesting that they wouldn't develop a quick handle or mastery of the challenges is very compelling either.

I think you got it wrong. Packaging elements smaller and smaller is not going to be easier and easier - it is actually harder and harder as it requires heavy research investments and a very large talent pool - which are all very capital heavy. It is similar to CPU design where US has majority of world's CPU design talents (Intel, Marvel, Texas Instruments, Nvidia, Qualcomm... etc etc just to name a few). As CPU gets smaller and smaller, investment in research to discover new materials and processes in order to further miniturize the CPU becomes critical - for example, going from 32 nm down to 28 nm is a huge jump as silicon starts to leak voltage and CPU becomes unstable - this leads to the discovery of High-k Metal Gate Transistor which use a different material entirely, and requires enormous investment to discover the correct material. Going from 28 nm down to 22 nm requires further packing of CPU circuitry by going 3 dimensionally (Inte's Tri-Gate Transistor Technology). Going down to 16 nm or even 14 nm requires inventing new processes - like the double patterning liquid immersion lithography.


Right now, the best Chinese foundry can produce is 32 nm and 28 nm is just coming online - so China is couple of generations behind.
 

Ultra

Junior Member
a little bit off topic ... in 1995 (only 20 years ago) China only had 1 entry in TOP 500 supercomputer, rank 141, designed and built by IBM (
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But now (the latest in Nov 2014), China has had the fastest supercomputer designed and built by China (
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), even in 2010 China had the fastest super computer already. My point is, yes China can develop best supercomputer (hence could develop AESA radar as well, .... is not impossible)
Building a world beating super computer nowadays is more about money than anything else. China has a lot of it and it wants prestige so they bought a lot of high-end intel CPUs and hooks them all together and there is the Tianhe-2 ;)

The truth is, if China is actually capable of designing a world beating super computer of their own, they would do so with THEIR OWN CPU (and not rely on Intel which is american).
 

vesicles

Colonel
I think you got it wrong. Packaging elements smaller and smaller is not going to be easier and easier - it is actually harder and harder as it requires heavy research investments and a very large talent pool - which are all very capital heavy.
I think you misunderstood his point. He meant that the packaging becomes easier WHEN the critical elements become smaller. I don't think he meant to say that it is easier to make elements smaller.
 

Engineer

Major
Building a world beating super computer nowadays is more about money than anything else. China has a lot of it and it wants prestige so they bought a lot of high-end intel CPUs and hooks them all together and there is the Tianhe-2 ;)
The most difficult part is hooking them together. As the number of CPUs increases, the quality of the CPUs themselves become secondary. Obviously, putting together the world's fastest supercomputer isn't something everyone can do, or everyone would have supercomputers.

The truth is, if China is actually capable of designing a world beating super computer of their own, they would do so with THEIR OWN CPU (and not rely on Intel which is american).
China does have homegrown CPUs, but most software are written for American CPUs with X86 instruction sets. It would be pointless to build a supercomputer that has no software to run.
 

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