New Chinese KJ-600 radar plane seen in new images - M5 Dergi
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New Chinese KJ-600 radar plane seen in new images

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The latest images of China’s KJ-600 carrier-based airborne early-warning (AEW) aircraft have surfaced on Chinese social media.

Released in March 2024, the photo reveals the baseline design of the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN) KJ-600, showcasing its grey color scheme and distinctive features reminiscent of the U.S. Navy’s E-2 Hawkeye.

Developed by the Xi’an Aircraft Company, the KJ-600 commenced flight trials in the fall of 2020. The aircraft, powered by twin turboprop engines, boasts a spacious fuselage accommodating a crew of four to six and is equipped with a large radar dome positioned above the fuselage.

Characterized by its high-straight wing configuration, quad-fin tailplane, tricycle landing gear, and a sizable dorsal radome suspected to house an AESA-type radar system.

Despite ongoing flight testing, there has been no visual confirmation of KJ-600s undergoing catapult launch or arrested recovery testing from land-based facilities. However, with prototype flight testing progressing and the program potentially nearing low-rate initial production, the KJ-600’s integration into carrier-based operations appears imminent.

Satellite imagery analysis suggests that the KJ-600 possesses an extended wingspan of 24.4 meters and a length of 18.4 meters, aligning with expectations for a compact carrier-based aircraft design.

In late 2023, reports indicated “intensive trials” involving at least four to six prototypes.

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