To counter the F-22 stealth fighter in a potential air war against the United States, China is developing third-generation early warning aircraft, according to a US think tank.
Reports published by the Jamestown Foundation, a Washington-based thinktank, have noted that the phased array radar technology of the KJ-2000 and KJ-200 AWACS systems of the PLA Air Force is already one full generation ahead of the E-3C and E-2C early warning aircraft of the US. China is also currently one of the only four nations in the world to export its airborne early warning systems technology to foreign market after the United States, Sweden and Israel.
It was not until the KJ-2000 entered service with the PLA that China had the capability to coordinate its fighters, bombers and other aircraft in a potential air campaign against Taiwan, Japan and the United States.
Interviewed by the CCTV, Wang Xiaomo, the chief designer of KJ-2000 and the man considered the "father of China's radar systems," said Beijing is planning to develop advanced early warning aircraft with the capability to pick up American stealth fighters such as the F-22 and F-35.
Since early warning aircraft have played a crucial role in air warfare since the Gulf War, scientists in China like Wang realized how important it is for China to also develop the technology. Wang said the third-generation radar aircraft must have the capability to track multiple targets in the air.