Carrier Navy: Chinese style selection of Shipborne early warning aircraft

 Carrier Navy: Chinese style selection of Shipborne early warning aircraft

To sum up, after the air police 600 and the new generation of aircraft carriers are put into service, Chinas aircraft carrier fleet will soon have the air early warning command capability comparable to the Nimitz class and Ford class of the United States. Even for the current two transitional ski jump deck aircraft carriers, the replacement of four zhi-18 early-warning ships with two air police 600 will make up for the most important of the existing aircraft carrier formation u201dThe short board of combat capability is not impossible.

Most important? Why? Can you do without it?

Early warning aircraft plays an important role in modern war, and it is the first time that the early warning aircraft plays an important role in the air battle in Bekaa Valley in 1982. And its potential value in the sea battle field even appeared as early as World War II. The original motivation of the US Navy to study AEW came from the personal experience in the Pacific battlefield: in the early stage of the war, skilled Japanese pilots even drove their planes close to the US ships at high speed and launched attacks, which were affected by the curvature of the earth. At that time, the radar installed on the mast of the ship detected such targets only 30-35 nautical miles.

When the war entered October 1944, although the overall training level of Japanese pilots was in a cliff like decline, the increasingly large-scale and well-organized suicide attacks magnified the warning defects of the US Navy. The airborne early warning is not affected by the curvature of the earth, and can detect the low altitude attacking targets farther and earlier than the shipborne radar; in addition, the search radar installed on the aircraft can significantly expand the early warning search range of the fleet by relying on the long-range high-speed maneuverability of the aircraft itself, and further win the window for the warship team to organize multi-layer air defense interception.

Early warning aircraft can expand the early warning search range of the fleet.

Even in todays increasingly complex functions of early warning aircraft, the long-range detection of sea skimming low-altitude targets or high-speed penetration targets is still the most basic task of every shipborne early-warning aircraft. Whether its the valiant Japanese torpedo planes and dive bombers, or the kamikaze special attack aircraft like moths or Cherry Blossom suicide bombers, they are essentially no different from todays anti-ship missiles.

However, although the theory was perfect, it faced two great challenges when it was put into practice under the technical conditions at that time: first, the early long-range search radar was huge, which could not be carried by the general carrier based aircraft. If only a small air combat radar similar to the German night fighter was installed, it would not play an early warning role; second, the early radar basically did not have the ability of clutter filtering The biggest significance of early warning aircraft is to find the sea skimming targets at low altitude from a long distance. When the sea conditions are good, the problem is not big. Once the sea conditions are bad, the sea surface reflected clutter is easy to blind. At that time, the airborne radar with extremely limited overlooking ability can be easily blinded.

Therefore, until the end of the Pacific War, the early warning means for the US military to deal with large-scale Japanese suicide attacks in Okinawa and the Philippines was not early warning aircraft, but deployed a large number of destroyers and frigates carrying radar as radar sentinels outside the fleet to provide early warning information for the fleet, which also led to the focus of attention of the Japanese army in naval warfare The loss was extremely heavy.


With the breakthrough of miniaturization technology of electronic components, the first difficult problem of airborne early warning radar system has been solved. In the spring of 1944, engineers installed the an / aps-20 radar developed by General Electric Company on the tbm-3w Avenger shipborne torpedo aircraft. The test shows that tbm-3w can detect aircraft flying at a low altitude of 150 meters at a distance of 100 to 120 kilometers under calm sea conditions, and ships can also be found at a distance of 320 kilometers. However, the system still cant work normally in case of severe sea conditions. In 1945, the tbm-3w carrier borne early warning aircraft was deployed to the aircraft carrier, and the World War II ended before it could play a role. As the first shipborne early warning aircraft in the world, tbm-3w has the basic characteristics of early warning aircraft: carrier aircraft, high-power search radar and radar information transmission communication chain.

The E-1 tracker, which was commissioned in 1958, is the first shipborne fixed wing early warning aircraft in the world. Its an / aps-82 early warning radar has initially solved the second difficult problem of Shipborne early warning aircraft clutter filtering, so it can carry out long-range target detection and recognition tasks in high sea conditions. However, tracker is destined to be just a transitional product. Its flight platform space based on S-2 shipborne anti submarine aircraft is too small to carry more mission crew and equipment, and it uses backward piston propeller engine. Therefore, it was gradually replaced by E-2 eagle eye after six years of service.

From the beginning of E-2, shipborne early warning aircraft has entered a new era. Before the eagle eye, the airborne early warning was still at the target detection level originally conceived; however, with the revolutionary computer battlefield management system and more effective data link, the eagle eye has for the first time endowed the shipborne early warning aircraft with powerful battlefield command, control and management capabilities. In other words, the shipborne early warning aircraft is not only an air-based radar station, but also a comprehensive air information command center for naval warfare. It can not only provide early warning information in defensive interception operations, guide and command various interception platforms and firepower, but also play the role of air formation commander in the offensive operations launched by carrier based aircraft wing.

Therefore, at least for an American ocean Navy, shipborne fixed wing early warning aircraft is indeed very important.

Tbm-3w early warning aircraft is equipped with a large-size radome under its nose.

New empowerment

In June 2014, in the East Pacific Ocean, the US Navys Allie Burke class destroyer Paul Jones successively launched four new-type long-range air defense missiles, all of which successfully intercepted the targets, marking that the new generation of regional air defense missile standard - 6 of the US Navy is about to be put into service. A year ago, in a test launch in June 2013, a standard-6 successfully destroyed a cruise missile target 370 km away by using the relay guidance of eagle eye early warning aircraft. The real significance of this test is far from simply verifying the range of the missile.

Today, the original air defense operation concept of aircraft carrier formation will enter a new era because of the appearance of standard - 6 + eagle eye operation mode. In addition to early warning and command and control functions, information technology is giving the third revolutionary function of Shipborne early warning aircraft - providing long-range relay guidance for air defense missiles.

Before standard-6, even after the golden combination of standard-2, aegis and MK-41, the area air defense range of US aircraft carrier formation was still limited in the radar field of view of the ship. Affected by the curvature of the earth, the detection range of sea skimming anti-ship missile is only tens of kilometers. In other words, complex and expensive regional air defense missiles can only intercept bombers like tu-22m. However, bombers often launch anti-ship missiles and return home 200 km away. At this time, point air defense missiles are the main body of intercepting anti-ship missiles. However, the range of the latter is too short, and the window for interception is very limited.

With the support of cooperative operation system, E-2D can support standard - 6 air defense missile to intercept low altitude targets outside the sea level.

This is the embarrassment of traditional area air defense, which is suitable for intercepting aircraft but with insufficient range and enough range to intercept missiles, but it is difficult to lock in targets flying at low altitude. Therefore, as early as the 1970s, when a large number of supersonic long-range anti-ship missiles emerged in the Soviet Union, the Applied Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University proposed the most original idea of coordinated cross horizon interception. Restricted by the level of computer and data link at that time, the idea can only stay in the laboratory. Until January 1996, the U.S. Navy in a test, the an / ads-18 search radar and an / spg-51 fire control radar were set up on the top of a mountain at an altitude of 1160m. Through the data link, the cruiser provided the cruiser with long-range target search and irradiation capabilities. In the test, the cruiser fired four standard - 2block IIIA missiles specially modified for this test, and the results showed that the intercept distance was higher than that of the control radar It is more than three times larger than the traditional single ship independent search, tracking and irradiation mode.

Faced with the temptation of the above test results, the U.S. Navy formulated the first standard - 5 of the cooperative regional air defense missile program. However, due to the end of the cold war, the standard-5 plan has not been allocated. After entering the 21st century, Raytheon company put forward a new scheme based on standard - 2blockiv missile and integrating aim-120 active radar guidance technology. It claims that it can achieve the performance of standard - 58% with half the cost, which is the current standard - 6 area air defense missile.

Under the cooperative air defense mode of Shipborne early warning aircraft, the whole air defense system operation of US aircraft carrier formation will be reshuffled, and the regional air defense missile can partially liberate carrier based aircraft and become the real backbone of aircraft carrier air defense system. Within the range of 400 km, the regional air defense missile will intercept almost all high, medium and low altitude targets, including bombers, fighter planes, UAVs and anti-ship cruise missiles. The larger intercepting range and the fire channel not limited by the radiation radar allow the air defense ship to organize multi wave dense air defense fire. At this time, the boundary between point air defense and area air defense has become very fuzzy. If not considering the cost performance of interceptors and the adaptability of ships, the point air defense missiles have even become chicken ribs.

The realization of all these depends on the relay guidance service provided by the carrier based early warning aircraft. (to be continued)

(function(){( window.slotbydup=window .slotbydup||[]).push({id:u5811557,container:ssp_ 5811557, async:true }Source of this article: surging news editor: Yao Wenguang_ NN1682