KJ-600: Chinese carrier-capable AEW: developments, news, progress ...


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it is interesting the E-2’S outer vertical stabilizers joint with horizontal stabilizer above mid point, where as those of KJ joints below the midpoint,

On the E-2 the decision was driven by the desire to minimize the protruding height of the fins so the aircraft can more easily fit in for hangar storage. when the aircraft is parked the rotodome can also be lowered so the top is flush with the top of the Tail fin.

apparently on the KJ reduced the aircraft‘s parked height is less of a concern. So the failfin is allowed to stick up more. Why?

Two possibility comes to mind, and they are not muturally exclusive:

1. On the KJ, the greater concern if for more clearance under the tail, to prevent tail strike during take off of landing. The aircraft use arrested landing, so a nose high attitude at touch down is not important. So tail clearance for landing seems unlikely to be a major concern. That leaves concern for tail strike during take off. If the aircraft is catapult launched, it would not rotate until it it has left the deck, so again tail clearance during taking off seems unlikelt to be a major concern. That leaves take off on the bow ramp. Here tails\ strike would be a major concern. So the implication? The KJ is designed to operate from ski ramp.

2. The KJ is not meant to be hangared, and would be permanently deck parked. This seems unlikely, even if the KJ is normally deck parked, surely there can be time when it would be struck below for maintenance?
KJ-600's stabilizers aren't significantly higher than E-2's.

It's just that E-2's horizontal stabilizers are angled upward
While KJ-600's more level


The clearance height in the hangar is an essential planning element for the capacity of an aircraft carrier. Every centimeter counts!

This determines the top weight and the size of the overhangs for the flight deck.


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... and there are rumours this one appeared with a new number 7xxxx including minor changes on the original black-headed radar and an air-speed sensor (?) added.

Some suggest it to be the second test aircraft.

(Image via @Oneninety from Weibo)



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My opinion: it will be ready, when the carrier 003 is ready. Is it neccessary than to have a KJ-600 flying now? Or is enough time left and it could be the old tech demonstrator?

I'm not sure the posted photo is new. It could be an old photo that someone had kept for sometime and then decided recently to post it.

IMHO, I believe the PLA-N will aim to get as close to hitting the ground running as possible. They already have the facilities to test as much as possible of the airframe and procedures regarding launch and recovery. Assuming the systems are different from other similar aircrafts of the same role, it can easily be tested out in some office building.

I'm expecting a few available pre-IOC variants along with trained pilots and crew but, IOC status won't be achieved as it requires a working catapult-capable carrier. The sooner it's ready, the more knowledge they have on handling this aircraft. They can even start using it for live exercises (as opposed to computer simulations if available) with other aircrafts. The only thing they cannot fully test out is actual carrier deck handling operations.

The only reason I can think of in continuing to fly the old tech demonstrator is to test out the engines, the avionics and maybe develop a flight simulator (assuming negligible differences in flight characteristics). By looking at how the Chinese developed the J-15 and J-20, I doubt the Chinese would test out a new airframe and engines together.

Richard Santos

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I think to be ready for actual service in 2-3 years, when 003 enters service, the new airframe will have to not only be flying, but also undergoing catapult launch test, arrested landing tests, experimental deck handling trials, now.

the Chinese have no shortage of experience building air worthy turboprops. So flying this thing is no big deal. What they have not had very much experience with is designing airframe structure stressed for carrier handling, folding wing mechanism, and aircraft equipment for carrier handling. If the airframe contains flaws that needs to rectified before service, it is unlikely to be with airworthiness, it will be much more likely stem from carrier handling requirementw.