J-15D "Roaring Shark" electronic warfare fighter
China has developed advanced and standardized ECM pods to modify multiple types of fighter jets for such combat requirements, such as the J-15 type fighter jets. Using the ECM pods in fighters is the most efficient and effective way. China's PLA Navy deploys such EMC pods carrying aircraft together with its warships and other combat vessels for electronic combat missions and to enhance combat capabilities.
The Boeing Growler is such an American carrier-based electronic warfare aircraft. The EA-18G Growler is a variant in the F/A-18 family of aircraft that combines the proven F/A-18F Super Hornet platform with a sophisticated electronic warfare suite. Built to replace the EA-6B Prowler, the Growler is the first newly-designed electronic warfare aircraft produced in more than 35 years. The aircraft also retains all of the F/A-18E/F's multi-mission capabilities with its validated design and the capability to perform a wide range of enemy defense suppression missions.
The EA-18G Growler, an Airborne Electronic Attack aircraft, retains many of the F/A-18F capabilities combined with Airborne Electronic Attack systems (e.g., tactical receivers and jamming pods). The EA-18G integrates the latest electronic attack technology, including the ALQ-218 receiver, ALQ-99 jamming pods, communication countermeasures, and satellite communications. The AN/ALQ-249, the Next Generation Jamming Pod, is in final development and will be the successor for the long serving ALQ-99 pods. Along with the electronic attack suite, the Growler also features the APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar.
The J-15D is a carrier-based electronic warfare variant — the “D” in the designation comes from the Chinese word for “electronic,” diànzi. In April 2018, photos of the variant equipped with wingtip electronic warfare pods surfaced online, but their authenticity could not be verified. A single pilot cannot manage to fly the jet and engage in complicated electronic battles at the same time, Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military expert, told the Global Times on 12 December 2018. The extra seat can also be used to train new pilots, the cctv.com report said. Wei said that having an experienced pilot to teach a trainee in actual flight is very effective and will contribute to the talent program, noting that the control panels for both pilots are the same. However, having an extra pilot means the variant might need to reduce its payload or sacrifice mobility, Wei said.
The latest photos of the suspected F-15D "Roaring Shark" electronic warfare fighter circulated online in June 2018. The main feature is that an electronic warfare pod similar to the US "Growler" EA-18G electronic warfare fighter ALQ-218V (2) is mounted on the left and right wing tips. Several special new electromagnetic signal collection and counter antennas have been added to various parts of the fuselage. It is understood that the parties intended by the US military against the F-15D or F-35C, to make up for deficiencies in the carrier aircraft carrier battle groups combat power.
Although the People's Liberation Army has equipped its fighter jets with various specifications of airborne electronic warfare pods, dedicated electronic warfare aircraft (which can be used for electronic warfare and air combat) are very rare. The research and development of the J-15D is bound to become a heavy role for the Chinese aircraft carrier battle group. It is understood that in addition to the J-15d currently being tested, similarly functional land-based J-16D electronic warfare fighters are also being tested. In the future , one will be in charge of sea and air and the other will be in charge of land and air with other electronic warfare fighters , which is expected to greatly improve the PLA’s electromagnetic warfare ability.
Judging from the known information, there are a total of three models of the J-15. The first is the catapult model that has been exposed for the first time during the 2016 Mid-Autumn Festival, which can prepare for the launch of the aircraft carrier; the second is the J-15B (or J-15B second batch), equipped with an avionics system with a phased array fire control radar as the core, equipped with advanced air-to-air missiles such as PL-10 and PL-15, and may also be equipped with the Eagle-12 heavy supersonic missiles; the third type is the J-15D carrier-based electronic warfare fighter, which will fully transplant the research results of the J-16D electronic warfare fighter.
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