PLA AEW&C, SIGINT, EW and MPA thread


11226p

Junior Member
Registered Member
A recent
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referred to an
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in the Global Times regarding a Y-20 based AEW platform so I thought I'd post the article and my thoughts.

Summary of the GT post:
  • In an online seminar people high up in the design process and programs of the KJ- series offered some thoughts on future AEW
  • Lu Jun (chief designer of KJ-2000) and Cu Jixian (executive deputy designer of KJ-500) both stated that future airborne early warning and control systems likely would be compromised of a "cluster of platforms"
  • Lu comments on AWACS aspects being split into the capability of the individual platform as well as the system conceptually
  • Both also stated that the information network and integrated (cross domain) system approach would enhance combat capability
  • Lu said that military intelligentization will help AWACS development
  • Ciu also says that both large and small platforms are future trends
  • The GT post is also citing an expert that wanted to remain anonymous they got to interview
    • He says Lu's and Ciu's comments indicate both larg AEW types like the current ones as well as small/drone AEW platforms could be developed
    • Further he states the Y-20 airframe is a good airframe to base a AEW derivative on but also states completely different platforms could be in the work
  • At the end in the post it is mentioned that KJ-500 is a generation ahead of KJ-2000 which in turn is a generation ahead of E-3C and E-2C as per Lu's commentary
Personal comments:

Usually I'd abstain from citing the GT but since it is an article about an interview there is reduced chance for the GT to add their own "defense analysis".

Now most of the interview is fairly general and expressing already known ideas we believe the PLA holds. Especially the repeated mention of networked warfare and system of system approach is in line with what we can hear from the PLA for quite some time.
We can also see some of the expressed ideas such as the cluster of platforms in the experimental Divine Eagle drone though as usual for such developments there is a scarcity of information about the program.

What I found interesting is the part about military intelligentization. Intelligentization is a part of
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strategy. As such I believe Lu suggests that the informatization and AI developments will help AEW platforms become more autonomous and less reliant on human operators (maybe reducing the crew personnel of large AEW aircraft?) while at the same time being able to create a larger information gathering net via unmanned AEW aircraft.

I have got no personal opinions on the anonymous source. It doesn't state anything specific or unexpected which makes it hard to ascertain if an actual expert or just a random enthusiast gave the information. The general views expressed by the source however are not exactly unreasonable so that doesn't change much regardless .

KJ-500 being significantly more capable than KJ-2000 is something I have seen expressed in many sources in the past as well. KJ-2000 may well be more advanced than the early E2 and E3 variants. However I am not sure where I'd draw the line between generations. I expect the gap between recent variants US and chinese AEW platforms to be relatively small and not generations apart.

The GT post explains somewhere in the middle that the KJ-500 is derived from the Y-8 airframe. It should be the Y-9 but that is itself a development of the Y-8 so I guess in some way? However this part was not marked as part of the interview so it is most likely the GTs own commentary. Just thought I'd mention that for holistic sake.
 

supersnoop

Junior Member
Registered Member
A recent
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
referred to an
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
in the Global Times regarding a Y-20 based AEW platform so I thought I'd post the article and my thoughts.

Summary of the GT post:
  • In an online seminar people high up in the design process and programs of the KJ- series offered some thoughts on future AEW
  • Lu Jun (chief designer of KJ-2000) and Cu Jixian (executive deputy designer of KJ-500) both stated that future airborne early warning and control systems likely would be compromised of a "cluster of platforms"
  • Lu comments on AWACS aspects being split into the capability of the individual platform as well as the system conceptually
  • Both also stated that the information network and integrated (cross domain) system approach would enhance combat capability
  • Lu said that military intelligentization will help AWACS development
  • Ciu also says that both large and small platforms are future trends
  • The GT post is also citing an expert that wanted to remain anonymous they got to interview
    • He says Lu's and Ciu's comments indicate both larg AEW types like the current ones as well as small/drone AEW platforms could be developed
    • Further he states the Y-20 airframe is a good airframe to base a AEW derivative on but also states completely different platforms could be in the work
  • At the end in the post it is mentioned that KJ-500 is a generation ahead of KJ-2000 which in turn is a generation ahead of E-3C and E-2C as per Lu's commentary
Personal comments:

Usually I'd abstain from citing the GT but since it is an article about an interview there is reduced chance for the GT to add their own "defense analysis".

Now most of the interview is fairly general and expressing already known ideas we believe the PLA holds. Especially the repeated mention of networked warfare and system of system approach is in line with what we can hear from the PLA for quite some time.
We can also see some of the expressed ideas such as the cluster of platforms in the experimental Divine Eagle drone though as usual for such developments there is a scarcity of information about the program.

What I found interesting is the part about military intelligentization. Intelligentization is a part of
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
strategy. As such I believe Lu suggests that the informatization and AI developments will help AEW platforms become more autonomous and less reliant on human operators (maybe reducing the crew personnel of large AEW aircraft?) while at the same time being able to create a larger information gathering net via unmanned AEW aircraft.

I have got no personal opinions on the anonymous source. It doesn't state anything specific or unexpected which makes it hard to ascertain if an actual expert or just a random enthusiast gave the information. The general views expressed by the source however are not exactly unreasonable so that doesn't change much regardless .

KJ-500 being significantly more capable than KJ-2000 is something I have seen expressed in many sources in the past as well. KJ-2000 may well be more advanced than the early E2 and E3 variants. However I am not sure where I'd draw the line between generations. I expect the gap between recent variants US and chinese AEW platforms to be relatively small and not generations apart.

The GT post explains somewhere in the middle that the KJ-500 is derived from the Y-8 airframe. It should be the Y-9 but that is itself a development of the Y-8 so I guess in some way? However this part was not marked as part of the interview so it is most likely the GTs own commentary. Just thought I'd mention that for holistic sake.
Looking at the interview, looks like it was very specific talking about E2C which is being replaced with E2D at this point. Also he was referring mostly to the AESA vs. Mechanical scanning (it seems).

Just kind of musing on the "informatization". I think the future is less about reducing the number of people, but processing from the huge net.

I am not an expert in this field, but kind of thinking aloud here. With older radar systems, you kind of had very general information, speed/heading/rough size etc. Then an operator will direct the appropriate asset to deal with it right?

Perhaps in the future, something like satellite feed, drone radar + EO, any other intelligence (human, archival, etc.) could be linked with AWACs sensors themselves to create a more detailed picture (ie. 2 F-16 w/ AShM strike package, 2 Mirage-2000 Escort with MICA), or does this exist already? The explosion advanced monitoring assets for PLA in the last 10 years is crazy (AWACS, Shipborne AESA, Satellites, drones). It will be very important to utilize Machine Learning and algorithms to maximize the information gleaned from them. I don't think it's any coincidence that most flights near Taiwan are ELINT/MPA and other such aircraft.
 

by78

Lieutenant General
Y-8Q ASW dropping payload on target.

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Hendrik_2000

Lieutenant General
From this video nothing to be excited
Go straight to the training ground: reveal the secret in all directions! Rarely exposed internal pictures of PLA Y-8 anti-submarine patrol aircraft. Magnetic detector can accurately locate underwater targets! | Military fan world 8,150 viewsJul 20, 2021
 

mahakala

New Member
Registered Member
From this video nothing to be excited
Go straight to the training ground: reveal the secret in all directions! Rarely exposed internal pictures of PLA Y-8 anti-submarine patrol aircraft. Magnetic detector can accurately locate underwater targets! | Military fan world 8,150 viewsJul 20, 2021
Can someone more knowledgeable explain the rationale behind the plane's manoeuvre to get rid of the earth's magnetic field interference please? If I understand it correctly from the video
 

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