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China Military Online Claims J 11 B fighter Jet deploys AESA Radar

Published Nov 12, 2019
Updated Feb 18, 2020

China reportedly developed a new variant of the J-11B fighter jet with new radar that can see farther and enable long-range missile use, a move that will significantly boost the Chinese Air Force’s capability, the fighter jet was seen on a China Central Television (CCTV) report on the upcoming 70th founding anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force.

Unlike other J-11Bs that serve in the PLA Air Force, which have black radar domes (radome), this particular J-11B has a white one, suggesting it is equipped with a new type of radar, reported Weihutang, a column on military affairs affiliated with CCTV.

“The reported new radar is likely an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, which has longer detection capabilities, can better identify targets and enable the use of long-range air-to-air weapons,” Wang Ya’nan, chief editor of Aerospace Knowledge magazine, told the Global Times, noting that the Su-27, from which the J-11B was developed, uses mechanically scanned radar that has low detection distance and scan speed.

This will also allow the J-11B to conduct a wider variety of missions, including reconnaissance over sky, sea and land, Wang said.

A J-11B was spotted earlier this year carrying what seemed to be a powerful PL-15 long-range air-to-air missile. Military observers said back then the advanced missile’s range is longer than the detection range of the fighter’s outdated radar, so the fighter might have to rely on data from other warplanes, like early warning aircraft, to target its enemies.

But with the new radar, the J-11B variant could launch a PL-15 at maximum efficiency on its own, analysts said.

The J-11B variant’s participation in a military drill means it could have joined military service, or it is also possible that it was conducting a test or evaluation on its capabilities, Wang said.

If China’s vast fleet of J-11s can be outfitted with AESA radars, it will significantly boost the PLA Air Force’s overall combat capability, Wang said.

Modular Rocket Launcher Can Fire Missiles Claims Chinese Report

China’s new multiple rocket launcher based on the PHL 03 can fire rockets, tactical ballistic and anti-ship missiles and the weapon could give the Chinese military an overwhelming advantage over enemies.

The new multiple rocket launcher, still not known by its official designation, was developed based on the PHL-03 long-range multiple rocket launcher.

It uses an 8×8 wheeled high mobility chassis, weighs 45 tons, and can adapt to temperatures ranging from -22 C to 55 C, Ordnance Industry Science Technology, a Xi’an-based periodical focused on the national defense industry, reported over the weekend.

Unlike the PHL-03, which is loaded with a fixed type of ammunition, the new rocket launcher has two modularized launch cells, and each can carry different types of ammunition, the periodical said, noting that this brings versatility and high efficiency to the weapon.

While the weapon only carried two sets of four 370-millimeter rockets at the parade, at the 70th Anniversary report it could also switch to two sets of five 300-millimeter rockets, or the combination of the two.

The export version of the new multiple rocket launcher, the AR-3, can even switch to the 750-millimeter Fire Dragon 480 tactical ballistic missile and TL-7B anti-ship missile, the report said.

The AR-3 has a range of about 280 kilometers with rockets, and the domestic version is expected to be able to hit targets at 360 kilometers, even farther with missiles, the periodical wrote, noting that it can target high value strategic targets like airports, command centers, supply bases and anti-air installations.

Highly automated, the weapon has a full communications system, weather information system, command system and maintenance system, allowing as few as three people to operate in minimum combat reaction time, the report said.

The new multiple rocket launcher will give the People’s Liberation Army an overwhelming advantage over its enemies, as it is highly mobile, easy to operate and can fire very fast, a military expert who asked not to be named told the Global Times on Monday.

It can fire across the Taiwan Straits, be deployed not only on plains but also on plateaus, and strike at naval targets, the expert said, noting that the AR-3 could be the best on the international market.