One of the most important aircraft available to the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is the "Y-8". This turboprop-powered aircraft is based in the Soviet-era Antonov An-12 "Cub" (detailed elsewhere on this site) and is used to cover a myriad of over-battlefield requirements including maritime patrol, MEDEVAC, and general transport of troops and materials. The Y-8 has also been evolved into a submarine-hunter through a new model first appearing in 2012.
This version of the Y-8 military transport retains all of the form-and-function of the original save for a few noticeable add-ons suited for the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) role. This includes a powerful air-to-surface radar unit housed in a "blister" fairing at the chin position, a side-looking Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR) unit, and a Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD) tube emerging from the extreme aft-end of the fuselage. Along the dorsal and ventral fuselage spines are found a series of inline antenna protrusions for various sensors.
The aircraft is supported through the usual flight crew as well as mission specialists to man the various onboard stations.
Power to the airframe is served through four turboprop engines mounted in underslung nacelles at the shoulder-mounted wing mainplanes. These drive advanced, scimitar-style propeller blades. Performance is assumed to be very similar to the base Y-8 transport.
The aircraft is charged with sorties beyond that of ASW work including monitoring of strategic water areas, target acquisition, and general over-water patrolling. It is operated from land bases and sports a conventional wheeled undercarriage that is wholly retractable.
Status Active, In-Service
[ 20 Units ] : Shaanxi Aircraft Corporation - China
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