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Chinese military experts are guardedly optimistic over the international market potentials of
China's newly developed fire control radar system, saying that although it is an upgrade
of the jet fighters' radar system, China's radar is mainly used for domestic purposes.
The Aviation Industry Corporation of China's Leihua Electronic Technology Research Institute
posted an article on its WeChat account on Friday, saying the development of the world's
first two-dimensional airborne air cooled active phased array fire control radar, which
has been tested during flight evaluation. The article said that by developing the radar
system, the company has successfully replaced pulse-doppler radars on jet fighters with
active phased array radars. The air cooling system of the new radars can
reduce the weight burden on the jets, making them fly faster. And the change cycle has
also been reduced, which could greatly improve the jets' combat capability. The system could
enhance China's national defense capabilities, lead to further progress in developing scientific
research hardware and increase the international competitiveness of China's airborne radar
system, read the article. However, Chinese military experts are concerned
about the limited applications for such an upgrade.
Considering that the data control bus for earlier models, which are not likely to be
compatible with the new radar system, the models for jet fighters to possibly apply
such radar upgrade are J11-B or J11-D, Song Zhongping, a military expert who used to serve
in the PLA Rocket Force, told the Global Times. Song also noted that such an upgrade for new
jet fighters could be costly. In a commentary on news portal guancha.cn
on Saturday, military analyst Du Kaiyuan said the new radar system can spot third-generation
jet fighters from at least 200 kilometers and intercept medium range air-to-air missiles.
He said Pakistan is interested in using it for its JF-17 Block3 fighter jets, which could
open the door to other countries. However, Song said that China's radars are
mainly meant for domestic use, and that the new radar system is unlikely to be used in
countries without Chinese-made jet fighters.