China’s anti-stealth tech shines at radar expo
Domestically developed equipment ‘fits trend in modern warfare’
Published: Apr 22, 2021 07:25 PM
radar military Photo:Cui Meng/GT

Radar systems on display at the 9th World Radar Expo in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu Province on April 22, 2021. Photo:Cui Meng/GT

Advanced anti-stealth technologies were in the spotlight at China's radar industry exhibition on Thursday, at a time when stealth aircraft have become an increasingly significant threat to air defense worldwide.

Co-hosted by the China Radar Industry Association, the China Electronics Technology Group Co (CETC) and the China Electronics Information Industry Group Co, the three-day Ninth World Radar Expo kicked off in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu Province, the birthplace of the nation's radar industry.

As countermeasures to stealth aircraft, some of the most advanced weapons in the world that challenge air defense systems, several types of anti-stealth radar systems developed by China attracted attention from the visiting crowds.

Developed by the No.14 Research Institute of the CETC under the concept that radar systems are facing increasingly diverse threats, the SLC-7 L-band 3D surveillance radar system can take on targets including stealth aircraft, helicopters, drones, cruise missiles, tactical ballistic missiles, near-space targets, and artillery shells and rockets, making it much more versatile than many competing products, according to a statement the research institute sent to the Global Times on Thursday at the event.

The SLC-7 can detect and track multiple targets at the same time, withstand saturation attacks, adapt to jamming, and rapidly identify targets, the statement said, noting that it has a long range, is very reliable, and can be deployed with only one push of a button.

Previous radar systems often had dedicated functions, but this versatile radar can not only detect stealth targets but also be used in fields like early warning and artillery reconnaissance. This means this radar alone can serve the purpose of multiple radars operating at the same time, Hu Mingchun, director of the No.14 Research Institute, told the Global Times in an exclusive interview at the expo on Thursday.

Almost all characteristics of the SLC-7 fit the trend of modern radar development, analysts said, as its specifications are on par with foreign mainstream radar systems like the AN-TPS-117 of the US and the Nebo-M of Russia.

radar military Photo:Cui Meng/GT

Radar systems on display at the 9th World Radar Expo in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu Province on April 22, 2021. Photo:Cui Meng/GT

Another anti-stealth radar system on show is the YLC-8E UHF-band 3D surveillance radar system, the flagship anti-stealth product of China and a representative product of the world-leading technology of the No.14 Research Institute.

With key parameters that are superior to foreign competitors, the YLC-8E can detect even the most advanced stealth aircraft, its developer said, noting that most UHF-band radars suffer from low detection accuracy, but the developers of the YLC-8E solved this problem by meeting the high demands of components and processing power.

Countries around the world have been paying attention to how to deal with stealth targets since the development of the F-117 and bombing in the former Yugoslavia, Hu said on the sidelines of the expo's opening ceremony on Thursday.

As core components of the YLC-8E, all kinds of chips the radar system uses are domestically developed, the Global Times learned at the expo.

The No. 38 Research Institute of the CETC also displayed its anti-stealth radar, the JY-26 long-range 3D warning radar, at the expo. It works on UHF-band and can conduct anti-aircraft and anti-missile missions, particularly against stealth aircraft, its developer told the Global Times on Thursday.

The US and its allies have been planning, commissioning and deploying more and more stealth aircraft over the past few years in the Asia-Pacific region, and they will continue to do so, media reports said. More stealth fighter jets of different origins will also emerge worldwide in the near future, observers said. 

Also on display at the World Radar Expo is the YLC-48 portable multifunctional reconnaissance radar against drones, the YLC-18 3D blind compensation radar for targets like aircraft and cruise missiles flying at medium and low altitudes, and the KLJ-7A, China's first airborne active electronically scanned array fire control radar available for export.

Many foreign visitors, many in military uniforms, expressed interest in the Chinese radar products at the expo, as they were seen on Thursday making enquiries at many different booths.

More than 50 international guests from over 30 countries and regions along the Belt and Road are expected to participate in the expo, media reported prior to the event.