Y-20 - Special Mission Aircraft [GaoXin GX?]
Special mission aircraft are versatile aircraft that can be used by all three sectors of the armed forces for various operations. Special mission aircraft are equipped with surveillance equipment to detect the movement of enemy units but usually lack major offensive weapons. These aircraft have capabilities in areas such as maritime patrol as well as anti-submarine and airborne early warning and control. They can be used in both military and non-military missions.
The era to determine the success of a force in combat has shifted from the number of troops to the quality of assets. The success of modern-day warfare revolves around intelligence, information and support system and the Special Mission aircraft bridges the above-said gaps. The special mission aircraft fleet that was deployed across various missions in the Middle East conflict is a clear example of its importance. It also optimizes the utilization of time-critical assets like fighter aircraft.
Special mission aircraft are used mainly by the three sectors of armed forces on account of their various uses. Such aircraft have surveillance devices to uncover movement of enemies. However, they mostly do not carry any weapons. Special mission aircraft are mainly used to support active combatants via surveillance and delivery of supplies. Another crucial application segment of special mission aircraft is maritime patrol. Apart from that, they enable uncovering oil spills and helping in recovery operations too.
Catalyzing growth in the global market for special mission aircraft is the rising geopolitical tensions all over the world, which has warranted increased surveillance. Besides, they also serve to support combatants in war-stricken nations. Another factor boosting uptake of special mission aircrafts are the pressing requirement to thwart illegal activities, namely drug trafficking and terrorism. Piracy is also a major concern that has boosted the market. For example, piracy in the waters of Somalia has become a major headache for trading in the Indian Ocean and hence has led to the uptake of special mission aircrafts. Similarly, the prolonged civil wars in the Middle East and Eastern Africa too have helped demand. Due to the rising amount of active engagement, the popularity for special mission aircraft is increasing due to the vital role they play in sustaining opponents. Apart from engagements among two different nations, the prime feature fueling the universal demand for special mission aircraft is the growing requirement to curb illegal activities such as piracy, drug trafficking, and terrorism. The increase in the consumption of illegal drugs in developed countries has given growth to important trafficking operations, which are also frequently associated to more serious problems and therefore requirement to be curbed. Piracy is also becoming a severe major concern, mainly in regions such as the Indian Ocean. For example, Piracy in the waters of Somalia has turn out to be a most important issue for business operations in the Indian Ocean.
Some of the major applications of special mission aircrafts are electronic warfare, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, maritime patrol, anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, electronic warfare, airborne early warning and control, search and rescue, electronic or signals intelligence, aerial refueling, and search and rescue. At present, maximum demand is generated in the market for surveillance. Operation-wise, the three segments of the market for special mission aircraft are naval force, air force, and army.
At present, the segment of air force generates maximum demand and is trailed by naval units. Separate from military operations, the popularity for special mission aircraft in marking oil spills and helping in recovery operations for the same is increasing at a stable rate and is anticipated to become a most important part of the global special mission aircraft market in the years to come. The air force valued for the utmost demand from the global special mission aircraft market, which was followed by naval units.
China is mass-producing special mission aircraft, including anti-submarine aircraft, early warning aircraft, surveillance aircraft and electronic warfare aircraft, a genre of warplanes that will help create a full information system that allows the Chinese military to recognize hostile movement and even sabotage enemy communications. The key players of the global special mission aircraft market are Boeing, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Bombardier Inc., and Northrop Grumman Corporation.
Shaanxi Aircraft Industry (Group) Corporation Ltd (SAIC) under the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) has been manufacturing special mission aircraft with its pulse assembly line, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Saturday. The advanced assembly line was built in 2019, with a size of more than two soccer fields and fused digital, information-oriented and intelligence concepts. Compared to the traditional assembly workshops at SAIC, the new pulse assembly line is 30 percent more efficient in manufacturing aircraft and requires fewer workers.
The pulse assembly line at SAIC has five stations, each is assigned with tasks of assembling certain components to its aircraft, said Peng Fei, chief engineer at SAIC, on CCTV. Components will enter from station one, stopping at each station and leave station five as fully assembled aircraft ready for delivery, Peng said, noting that the next aircraft will enter the line as the previous one goes to the next station, enabling a very efficient manufacturing model.
The establishment of a pulse assembly line is an indication that China's special mission aircraft have entered a mass-production phase, a military expert who asked not to be named told the Global Times. "A pulse assembly line is only cost efficient when it produces a certain type of aircraft in large numbers, since the construction of such a line is expensive," the expert said. For instance, as many as 10 fully assembled special mission aircraft including KJ-500 early warning aircraft and other surveillance aircraft can be seen parked in an open area at SAIC in a single screenshot of the official CCTV report. They are expected to take test flights and be delivered to the military.
Most of China's special mission aircraft are designed based on the Y-8 transport plane because of its large payload capability and utility. China for the first time displayed its special mission aircraft fleet at the National Day military parade on 1 October. The fleet included Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft, KJ-500 early warning aircraft, Y-8 surveillance aircraft, Y-9 psychological warfare aircraft, Y-9 communications countermeasures aircraft, Y-8 electronic countermeasures aircraft, and Y-8 command and communications aircraft, according to Weapon magazine. A massive fleet of these warplanes will weave a full information system in information-based modern warfare and give the Chinese military an edge by grasping every detail on the battlefield and disrupting hostile communications.
An electronic warfare aircraft is an aircraft that conducts electronic reconnaissance, jamming, and attack on enemy radars, electronic guidance systems, and radio communications equipment. Its main task is to disable the enemy's air defense system and cover the successful execution of the attack aircraft. There are three main methods of electronic warfare-the first is electronic interference , which uses multiple frequency band clutter to shield the enemy's electromagnetic signals, causing the other party's electronic communication system to be paralyzed. The second type, electronic spoofing, first analyzes the frequency of the electronic signal of the other party, and then uses the electronic signal of the same frequency to deceive the electronic system of the other party. The third is electronic destruction . Use high-power microwave and electromagnetic pulses or anti-radiation missiles to perform soft or hard strikes on the opponent's electronic system. In particular, high-power microwave and electromagnetic pulses can cause transient high voltages in the circuit and burn out the circuit board to completely paralyze the electronic system.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|