Sunday, June 11, 2006

PRChina's New Spyplane Went Ka-Boom

These characters will try, try, again.

A DULL boom shook the misty bamboo forests of Guangde county, 125 miles southwest of Shanghai, last Sunday, and a plume of smoke rose in the sky, causing Chinese villagers to look up in alarm from their tasks.

Within 24 hours China officially admitted that a “military aircraft” had crashed...

[PRChina news reports] indicated that it was a Russian Ilyushin four-engined cargo jet, rebuilt to house a conspicuous array of radars and codenamed KJ-2000. The doomed flight, they implied, had been a test mission.

The disaster robbed China of 35 of its best electronic warfare technicians, according to sources in Hong Kong. There were also five crew members on board

In 2003 aviation specialists photographed two IL-76 Awacs prototypes, by then codenamed KJ-2000, on test flights over Nanjing. One was #762, the other was coded B-4040.

Late last year the local aviation authorities — which in China are controlled by the military — bought sophisticated Monopulse secondary surveillance radars from Telephonics Corp, a New York-based subsidiary of the Griffon Corporation, which supplies the US Awacs fleet.

The radars were due for delivery early in 2006. Their purpose was stated to be civil aviation, but critics in Congress say the Chinese buy such items for “dual use” in military systems.

According to specifications published by the Federation of American Scientists, such radars can be closely integrated with an Awacs plane to enhance targets. There is now speculation among military and aviation attach├ęs in the region that the ill-fated KJ-2000 may have been testing a hitherto unproven technical capability of precisely this nature when it crashed.

As a reminder: PRChina is NOT our friend.

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