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China Military Radar

China's military radar business sprouted before liberation. At that time, the Kuomintang government set up a radar repair station in Nanjing, and the United States provided it with some equipment and parts. When Nanjing was liberating, the Kuomintang government moved the radar repair station to Hangzhou and hoped to bring these talents to Taiwan. But these talents finally chose to stay and return to Nanjing after liberation, so Nanjing can be said to be China. The starting point of the radar business development, the radar repair station is also the predecessor of the 14th Research Institute of China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (hereinafter referred to as 14). The 14th Research Institute of China Electronics Technology Group Corporation is the birthplace of China's radar industry.

After that, the technical team engaged in the radar industry in China continued to grow. In the 1950s, China's radar industry embarked on the road of independent and independent development. The independently developed radar was used in the battlefield of the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea, and the 14th Research Institute also grew into the largest radar research institute in China. It has made significant contributions to the radar industry in China. There are 14th Research Institute elements in several major state-run radar factories in China. In the colleges and universities, in 1952, the People's Liberation Army Communication Engineering College (now Xi'an University of Electronic Science and Technology) located in Zhangjiakou City opened the radar professional and became the first military academy to set up a radar specialty in China.

In 1953, the school, now Beijing Institute of Technology, set up a radar professional course with the assistance of Soviet experts, becoming the first local college to set up a radar professional. In 1954, the first group of radar students went to 14th Research Institute production internships and saw some radars that were from the United States. Since then, the school's radar professionals often had business cooperation with the 14th Research Institute and also hired Zhang Zhizhong to come to the school for short-term lectures.

Between 1958 and 1959, the state specially allocated three sets of large-scale radars imported from the Soviet Union to the BIT school. The specific models are the P20 radar, SON9, and SON4 radar. The P20 radar is a search radar consisting of seven trucks, including power cars and antenna cars. Along with the three radars, a large number of radar parts left by the United States were also shipped.

After this radar equipments were shipped, the radar professional teachers and students overcame various difficulties to explore the assembly, operation and improvement of the radar. They also equipped some small parts like airborne and airborne radars, and energized them for experimentation. The establishment and growth of our radar professional is inseparable from the assistance of the Soviet experts, the support of the state, and the mutual support. Compared with other radar colleges and universities that have been built in the future, the BIT radar professional had a distinctive national defense feature from birth, with engineers for solving major engineering problems for national defense construction.

In 1964, many foreign countries began to study phased array radars in full swing. The National Defense Science and Technology Commission also asked our BIT and the 14th Research Institute to propose a large phased array early warning radar program capable of detecting targets of several thousand kilometers. At that time, Chinese were still not clear about the principle of phased array radar, and had no experience in making large-scale equipment. So the 14th Research Institute sent 10 technical backbones to participate in research and development. These technical backbones included those who had just returned from Russia.

At this time, the Cultural Revolution began, the research and development of the phased array radar of BIT was basically interrupted, and most of the work was completed by the 14th Research Institute.

However, BIT radar professional technical team still hoped to do more work for the country in terms of technology. In the practice of radar engineering, it realized the important influence of clutter on radar performance, so took the initiative to study the radar moving target display technology. The gun-aided radar of the BIT moving target display module was installed. In an army exercise in 1977, it was able to interfere with the aircraft that showed movement in the chaff cloud through the chaff. The leader’s conclusion was “effective” (Note) : Relevant results received multiple awards from the 1978 Science and Technology Conference).

The Red Flag-2 Guided Radar used mechanical scanning. In 1967, China's military used this type of air defense weapon system to shoot down the invading U2 high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft for the first time under interference conditions.

During the 13th Five-Year Plan period, with the airborne fire control radar entering large-volume equipment , China's main battle aircraft, especially the three-generation, half- and four-generation fire control radars will be largely activated. Fourteen undertook the development of multi-type airborne active phased array fire control radar. The self-developed radar equipment is basically equivalent to the most advanced level in foreign countries in terms of detection distance and tracking capability, and is in the system architecture. Chinese designers are very confident their airborne radar is completely comparable to the F-35's APG-81 radar and the F-22's APG-77 radar.

Targeting airborne phased array fire control radars, fourteen are national teams in the radar field, and continue to advance related new technologies. In recent years, China have made breakthroughs in the thin and light front, new cooling technology, etc., providing mature and advanced solutions for the improved third-generation fighters in situ replacement. In the micro-system, intelligent radar and other aspects continue to tackle the problem, for the fourth-generation aircraft radar improvement and the fifth-generation aircraft radar development technology accumulation.

The long-range early warning phased array radar is the core equipment of the anti-missile system. It is mainly responsible for searching for intercepted incoming ballistic missile targets, issuing missile incoming warnings, providing predictive trajectory for anti-missile weapon systems, providing nuclear counterattacks and providing national civil defense. Point forecasting, taking into account both space target surveillance and air target detection missions, is a "clairvoyant eye" in the anti-missile warning system, which can defend the enemy thousands of miles away.

The long-range early warning phased array radar displayed in the "Five Years of Outreach" large-scale achievement exhibition marked that China had become the third country with the ability to independently develop long-range early warning phased array radar after the United States and Russia, and has established a solid foundation for China's anti-missile the early warning system. This kind of radar can only rely on independent innovation, but China made full use of the advantages of latecomer to realize the comprehensive early warning capability of “seeing far, reporting accurately and distinguishing clearly”, and building an effective barrier for the anti-missile early warning system.

China's radar has fully approached or reached the advanced level of foreign countries, and the overall situation is in full swing and in some areas has achieved "leading". For example, the shipboard multi-function phased array radar and airborne early warning radar use the world's most advanced technology system, and the airborne phased array fire control radar is equivalent to the world's most advanced level.

The 14th Institute is the oldest and largest radar research institute in China, and has fully participated in and witnessed the development of the domestic radar industry. In March 2018 Hu Mingchun, deputy of the National People's Congress and director of the 14th Research Institute of China Electronics Technology Group Co., Ltd. said : "The history of the development of China's radar is a history of innovation. It should be said that after decades of continuous development, China's radar has been fully approached or reached the advanced level of foreign countries. Overall, it is in a state of running and running. It is in the period of crossing from "follow-and-run" to "leading", and in certain fields has achieved "leading"."

In April 2018 the media interviewed Hu Mingchun, the director of the 14th Institute. Hu Mingchun gave a detailed answer to the reporter on the current development of China's radar. In the course of the answer, for the development progress of China's airborne radar proposed by the reporter, and clearly stated, "Our airborne radar is completely comparable to the F-35's APG-81 radar and the F-22's APG-77 radar." The word "completely" indicates that China's airborne radar is consistent with the F-35's APG-81 radar and the F-22's APG-77 radar. But it may be ahead of the F35 and F22 airborne radars in some respects.

What is special about the radar of the J-20 compared to the APG-81 radar of the F-35 and the APG-77 radar of the F-22? First of all, the J-20 airborne radar detection progress is better than the previous two fighters, especially the J-20 radar has a strong anti-stealth performance, and this is not available in the F-35 and F-22; secondly, J-20 airborne radar has begun to reflect the idea of integrated design of detection, communication, electronic warfare, etc. Such radar performance is undoubtedly very powerful, and its stealth performance is also very good. The J-20's radar is highly integrated, easy to install and maintain, and its performance is well protected.

However, General Manager Hu Mingchun also admitted that China's radar development still faces some problems. First, the lack of basic theoretical research in China's radar start-up research is relatively late, has long been in the state of follow-up development. This state of follow-up development determines which radar performance is advanced in other countries, and we will follow up with the wind. Therefore, China has less accumulation and less information on the early target characteristics modeling of radar technology, and the basic theory is not solid. As China's radar technology shifts from the runner to the leader, the problem will become more prominent.

The second level of insufficiency radar is a refined combat aid. Therefore, the role of radar is largely dependent on excellent human-computer interaction with users. However, those information is necessary for the battlefield, and the information is not necessary to be displayed to the user. These problems require long-term experience to solve. However, the experience of using it, especially the experience of the battlefield, is precisely what China is most in short supply.

The third issue is the lack of integration of the military and civilian efforts, which requires the development of military industry with a large amount of capital investment. However, what is not equal to this high investment is that the profit output of military products is very small. Military R&D industry needs long-term healthy development, and it is imperative to increase its own hematopoietic function. The 19th National Congress clearly stated that it is required to thoroughly implement the military and civilian radar integration development mechanism and lay the groundwork for the long-term healthy development of China's radar. However, in this aspect of exploration, China has only just begun.

YLC-8B JY-27A radar

People’s liberation army has come a long way, rather than simply acquiring Russian missile defense technology, under the leadership of President Xi with bolstered R&D spending, China has significantly augmented its missile defense umbrella consisting of radars, the JL-1A and JY-27A, which are designed to address the ballistic missile threat. The JL-1A is highly sophisticated radar capable of precision tracking of multiple ballistic missiles.

In 2016 the top ten star weapons of China's national defense science and technology industry, which was organized and selected by the National Defense Science and Technology Industry Bureau, were announced. Among the top ten domestic star weapons selected, two long-range phased array warning radars were selected, namely YLC-8B mobile early warning phased array radar and JY-27A long-range warning radar. These two radars have their own characteristics, but the same thing is that they both use active phased array radar antennas and are specifically enhanced for anti-stealth capabilities. These two kinds of equipment of the same type were selected into the top ten domestic star weapons in 2016, which shows that the defense industry's attention to the anti-stealth field has reached a very important level.

YLC-8B was developed and produced by the 14th Research Institute of China Electronics Technology Group Corporation. The 14th CLP is known as "the birthplace of China's radar industry." Most of the high-performance radars of domestic land, sea, air, and strategic rocket army equipment are developed by the institute. JY-27A comes from the 38th Institute of China Electronics Technology Group Corporation, which is also one of the main development units of our army's high-performance radar. Although they are all long-range active phased array early warning radars with anti-stealth capabilities, YLC-8B and JY-27A work in different wavebands, so there is no small difference in detection performance and structural design. In actual use, YLC-8B and JY-27A often have to work together to complement each other in performance to achieve the best combat effectiveness.

In terms of the performance of YLC-8B and JY-27A, in addition to being able to find the aircraft, it can also achieve track tracking, which is further Locking down or even shooting down the aircraft creates conditions. YLC-8B adopts UHF working frequency band, which is generally called decimeter wave, while JY-27A works in VHF frequency band and belongs to meter wave. For these two types of radar waves, the stealth fighter of F-22A, which has a relatively small size, can generate electrical resonances on the larger parts of the fuselage, such as the vertical tail, the flat tail, and the front and rear edges of the wing, as long as the radiated power is strong enough. , Thereby forming a strong echo. Moreover, the coating of the absorbing material applied on the surface of the fuselage is completely ineffective for decimeter waves and meter waves.This is the main reason why YLC-8B and JY-27A were able to discover F-22A.

Both YLC-8B and JY-27A use active phased array radar antennas and a two-dimensional phase scan + azimuth machine scan system. Especially JY-27A, creatively integrates Meepo and active phased array technology to better balance anti-stealth and multi-purpose performance. However, as far as performance and balance are concerned, the YLC-8B is better than the JY-27A.

First of all, the decimeter wave used by YLC-8B is between centimeter wave and meter wave, which not only considers the long-range detection and anti-stealth capabilities, but also takes into account the requirements for detection accuracy. From the currently available information, the maximum detection range of YLC-8B for stealth fighters such as F-22A and F-35 exceeds 250 kilometers. It has been said in the Chinese radar industry that where the YLC-8B radar can detect, the East China Sea air defense identification zone is located. It should be said that this statement fully illustrates the excellent performance of YLC-8B radar.

From the perspective of detection accuracy, during the verification before the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone on February 10, the East China Sea Fleet aviation fighter aircraft successfully completed its mission, indicating that the YLC-8B radar performed very well in the tracking of stealth targets and the guidance of its own fighter aircraft. Moreover, in actual combat, the YLC-8B radar should not only be responsible for the detection and tracking of enemy air stealth targets, but also guide its own stealth fighters in order to effectively intercept enemy targets.

In addition to anti-stealth, the YLC-8B radar has a special purpose: to detect and track ballistic missiles and flying targets in close space. For China, vigorously developing anti-missile capabilities is the focus of work for a period of time to come. Especially in a situation where neighboring countries are building anti-missile barriers while vigorously developing long-range strike capabilities, China must also have its own powerful anti-missile shield. The design of YLC-8B radar has focused on strengthening the detection and tracking of ballistic missile targets, which can greatly improve China's early warning capabilities for such targets.

In addition, the detection and tracking of near-space flying targets, commonly known as hypersonic vehicles, is also a major technological innovation of the YLC-8B radar. At present, both the United States and Russia are stepping up the development of military hypersonic aircraft, and the US military has even proposed the goal of "hit the world in one hour." Although China is also developing similar hypersonic vehicles, it must also have the ability to defend against such weapons. With its excellent and comprehensive performance, YLC-8B radar will undoubtedly contribute to the establishment and development of China's advanced anti-missile system.



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