China is advancing the KJ-600 warning aircraft and a new generation of stealth fighters to meet up with the technology needs aboard aircraft carriers.
To serve the aircraft carrier Fujian, the Chinese military is attempting to construct a new stealth fighter and warning aircraft. At the moment, mainland aircraft carriers like the Liaoning and Shandong use helicopters to detect aerial threats early.
Last week, a video of the KJ-600 early warning aircraft flying above the city of Xi’an went viral on Chinese social media. This fixed-wing warning aircraft was first announced in 2020, and the test version, based on the photographs, is still a prototype.
The KJ-600 is essentially a twin-engine aircraft that resembles the US Navy’s E-2 Hawkeye. This warning aircraft features a six-person crew and a massive active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar on top. According to the concept, the KJ-600 will be charged with increasing the carrier’s radar range as well as providing data for other tactical aircraft. The KJ-600, on the other hand, is a twin turboprop aircraft that is not suited for the jump-off type on the Liaoning and Shandong aircraft carriers; nonetheless, the development of this early warning aircraft is expected to service the next generation aircraft carriers. The Fujian, China’s third aircraft carrier, was unveiled in June. Unlike its two older predecessors, this aircraft carrier includes three electronic aircraft launch systems (EMALS) appropriate for the KJ-600.
Aside from warning planes, China is thought to be working on a new stealth fighter. A photo obtained last week shows a PLA fighter prototype with the serial number 350003. This number, according to military experts, suggests that this is a stealth fighter prototype. J-35 will be the third model. Furthermore, this aircraft resembles the F-35 Lightning II in look and appears to be powered by a Chinese-made WS-21 engine.
The J-35 and KJ-600 are expected to become two military aircraft models for fixed operation on the Fujian Type 003 aircraft carrier under this development plan. If development proceeds as planned, 2 This new generation of aircraft will considerably improve the Chinese military’s combat capability.