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Anti-KMT Air Defense - Ground Radar-Guided Interceptors

Mainland China's early AEW aircraft plans originated from the interception and combat of the Kuomintang Air force. Starting from March 1951, mainland China encountered a night airplane invasion from the American and Taiwan Kuomintang air forces. For two years before 1954 the activity invaded the mainland's airspace and moved nearly unimpeded. At that time mainland China's air defense system was in the initial period, the existing air defense had many blank areas, and did not have ability to prevent the Kuomintang's night flights from making harassing attacks. Even the day intercepts of the Kuomintang airplane's invasion was also a very difficult matter, since the PRC lacked the equipment for continental air command.

The interception is air defense combat's main style, but the success of intercept is mainly decided by early warning and direction. In not having early-warning aircraft, ground radar provides the early warning and the direction information most important. In the early years of the new nation the Republic had only a very few radars. The first batch of Soviet metric-wave medium range radars was received before 1950, and the Continental air command's ground-based radar used the American service pattern radars. These meter-wave radar's security guidance was a range of about 150 kilometers, with an error of position of approximately 2 kilometers. Battled several times Because the meter-wave radar position error is big, although it can guide the fighter aircraft to the target proximity, in the complex weather or at night, the fighter pilot is unable to use the naked eye.

By 1956 the People's Air Force was equipped wtih the Mig-15 and the Mig-17 day fighter aircraft, which had a main dependence on radar control, but carried on search and combat with the naked eye. This interception tactic is very difficult forthe pilot and such personnel were few, and before 1956 the night flight fighter pilots were scarce. This condition caused Taiwan Kuomintang airplane's invasion to go on repeatedly. In 1955, the People's Air Force set out 246 interception sorties against Taiwan airplanes, but only some 20 pilots discovered the targets, a few fired their guns, but none had any victory. These difficulties in combat caused the People's Air Force to diligently and unceasingly strengthen radar and electronic equipment, to change the disadvantageous situation.

In 1956, the mainland started to introduce from Soviet Union the P-20 three coordinate radar to equip the army. The P-20 radar has two antennas and has the PRV-11 height-finding radar's distant early warning radar system. An antenna is the S wave band, another antenna is the L wave band, and surveys the high-altitude target at distances to above 300 kilometers, the cover area is much bigger than earlier radars. The P-20 itself only provided the position and distance to the target, but the target was highly determined by the PRV-11 radar, with analog computation system.

This kind of radar had another very useful performance, the ability to access other external P-type displays. The display can be placed in the range of 40 km from the radar station, which makes the fighter command center at the airfield see the situation and direct the air battle, greatly improve the response speed. Because this kind of radar overcame the meter-wave radar big error shortcoming, when guiding the fighter aircraft to close with the target, often it can guide precisely to pilot's visual range. Simultaneously equips the people's air force with P-20 the radar also to have is loaded with radar's Mig-17 fighter aircraft. From 1956 to 1957, the people's air force depended upon the introduction of 23 sets of the P-20 radar, and the massive P-3 radars, constituted directly along Taiwan, and had the radar fence which jumped very greatly. Soon, the P-20 radar demonstrated good operational effect.

On the night of 22 June 1956 one of Taiwan's B-17 reconnaissance aircraft was intercepted by a Mig-17 day fighter aircraft when the armed force'ss P-20 radar guided successfully it to the visual range for the first time. Because Taiwan reconnaissance aircraft needed good visibility weather, these airplane's invasions were generally carried on the bright moonlit night, which was also advantageous to the people's air force's interceptions. On the 22 June night combat, because P-20 could the accurate determination of the B-17's accurately determine the heading, altitude and location, the Mig-17 pilot was able to discover under the moonlight B-17 outline at a range of 9 kilometers. Afterwards on 22 August in night operation, although is the gibbous moon, near the Shanghai Hongqiao Airport the P-20 similarly guided a Mig-17 day-fighter aircraft to the target within 800 meters. The Mig shot down the US military's P4M-1Q electronic intelligence aircraft, which formerly was impossible to achieve using the P-3 radar. In the same year on the night of 10 November, the P-20 radar at Hangzhou once more guided the day Mig-17 fighter aircraft to shoot down a Kuomintang's C-46 transport aircraft.

On the night of 13 March 1958 a Taiwan B-17G airplane was intercepted by a MiG-15bis fighter, a process carried out by the radio relay in Changsha, and 2 hours later, a Mig-17 fighter aircraft pursued B-17G, but it flew out from the coast too far, and in landing Leizhou Peninsula Airport, the MiG crashed due to poor weather. Hereafter they were not able to shoot down the Kuomintang intruder until May 1959.

The ground-based radar had all sorts of inconveniences, but was at that time the Chinese weak industrial foundation was not able to develop early-warning aircraft. The people's air force proposed to install an air search radar on a large aircraft, by no means an early-warning aircraft, but a kind of night operation's but only a night, long-endurance aircraft operations. Although the night air defense fighter obtained some successes, the battle command and flight are very complex.

The Kuomintang changed to the P2V-7U electronic intelligence aircraft after 1960, and the air defense combat situation was even more difficult to intercept. Because this kind of airplane has installed the ASP-20 acquisition radar as well as at that time the very advanced electronic reconnaissance system, depending upon the ground-based radar and the fighter aircraft was very difficult to carry on the interception.

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 02:46:18 ZULU