China is actively producing its newest Shaanxi KJ-500 airborne early warning and control (AEW&C aircraft) for the People’s Liberation Army Navy and Air Force.
The KJ-500 has a fixed dorsal rotodome containing three radar arrays each containing active electronically scanned array or AESA radars arranged in a triangular configuration. This allows them to give full 360° coverage. The new radar design is different to those used in the earlier Shaanxi KJ-200 AEW&C aircraft. According to Chinese sources, it has the range of up to 470km and can track up to 100 targets.
Recently, Israel’s ImageSat International released satellite images showing the recent deployment of Chinese early warning and control airborne aircraft at the Changzhou Airbase near the Chinese coast. The Israeli intelligence firm claimed that this is a signal of the expanding Chinese efforts to control maritime shipping routes in the region.