JY-26 – China’s new counter stealth radar

The JY-26 Radar om display at the Zhuhai Air show. Photo: Sina Defense

China’s Nanjing defense electronics technology group is unveiling a new phased array radar iterating in the VHF/UHF waveband, designed for long range air surveillance and target acquisition role. Operating in the long wave band – VHF/UHF  enables the JY-26 to detect targets presenting low radar cross section (stealth aircraft) at the decimetric, centimetre and millimetre wave bands. The use of phased array technology also provides users the ability to increase the power transmitted at a certain location where a target presence is suspected, thus increasing the probability of detection of low-RCS targets.

JY-26The manufacturer also claims the radar is designed with robust anti-jam and electronic counter-countermeasures, enabling it to face strike forces conducting advanced anti-access/area denial (a2/ad).

It is using advanced, two dimensional digital, active phased array system, enabling high accuracy, target tracking and separation as well as operation at long ranges of up to 500 km.

The US is currently deploying advanced stealth aircraft in the Pacific, including B-2 bombers and F-22 Raptor stealth fighters. Both have also deployed on missions near China, providing the Chinese the opportunities to test their new radars against those planes.

Chinese designers at the Airshow China claim the JY-26 radar has already spotted the US Air Force most advanced stealth fighter – the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter, as it flew in South Korea on recent exercises. The radar is being developed at Shandong, located just across the Yellow Sea, separating the Korean peninsula from mainland China.

The capability of the new radar is becoming a critical asset for Beijing, as in the next decade more air forces in Asia Pacific will be equipped with stealth capabilities, these will include new bombers from the USA and Russia, a stealthy fighter plane the Russians are developing with India, an indigenous Korean stealth fighter and F-35s, to be used by the USA, Japan, Australia, and South Korea.