In attempting to broaden its Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) capabilities, the Chinese Air Force adopted its Shaanxi Y-8 series for the role. The Y-8 was originally introduced in 1974 and based on the Soviet Antonoc An-12 military/civilian hauler. Production yielded over 100 aircraft since and has led to the newer Shaanxi Y-9 series. With this proven foundation, the KJ-200 line was developed through proper modification based on its intended over-battlefield role. The KJ-200 is said to maintain about 20% commonality with the original Y-8 design.
Despite this the KJ-200 retains much of the form and function of the Y-8: high-mounted monoplane wings, single-vertical tail fin, tricycle undercarriage and four turboprop engine layout. The key addition externally is the radar system installed dorsally along the fuselage spine at midships, suspended by a collection of struts. Various other, smaller, protrusion have also been added to conform with the role. Internally there are a slew of support systems and several operator stations to manage the radar's function as well as all other mission pertinent systems. A blister is noted under the nose and a small extension has been added to the nose cone proper. The radar system is of an AESA ("Active Electronically Scanned Array") design. The cockpit is of an all-glass approach (incorporating some Western electronics into the mix) for its two pilots seated side-by-side. Engines are thought to be copies of the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW150B, turboprops driving six-bladed propellers along large spinners.
A KJ-200 system was lost in a 2006 crash during testing but the product has gone on to be featured in various public events since.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Special-Mission: Airborne Early Warning (AEW)
Specially-equipped platform providing over-battlefield Command and Control (C2) capability for allied aerial elements.
✓Special-Mission: Electronic Warfare (EW)
Equipped to actively deny adversaries the ElectroMagnetic (EM) spectrum and protect said spectrum for allied forces.
111.5 ft (34.00 m)
124.7 ft (38.00 m)
36.1 ft (11.00 m)
78,264 lb (35,500 kg)
134,482 lb (61,000 kg)
+56,218 lb (+25,500 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Shaanxi KJ-200 production variant)
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