A Chinese research institute has announced the development of a ‘quantum’ radar, which might eventually be able to detect stealth aircraft from great distances.
Developed by the Nanjing Research Institute of Electronics Technology in Jiangsu province, the radar is able to detect and track targets more than 100 kilometers away, Sun Jun, head of the institute's Intelligent Detection Technology Laboratory, told China Daily in an exclusive interview. State-owned Chinamil website reported.
"The characteristics of quantum radar include high reliability, accuracy and viability in sophisticated electromagnetic environments. It also has good mobility that will allow it to be mounted on multiple kinds of carriers," the senior engineer said. "It has resolved traditional radar difficulties in terms of handling stealth targets and surviving enemy countermeasures," Jun was quoted as saying.
The radar is still undergoing tests and is more like a prototype demonstration of future capabilities, Sun said, adding that future versions will have better anti-stealth properties.
Traditional military radar relies on radio waves to detect targets, which consequently make them susceptible to jamming. Most existing radar systems cannot detect stealth aircraft because such planes are made of radar-absorbent materials and have "stealthy" aerodynamic designs.
By comparison, quantum radars transmit subatomic particles, instead of radio waves, when they search for targets, so they will not be affected by radar-absorbent materials and low-signature designs. Moreover, quantum radars are not fooled by traditional radar-jamming tactics.
In addition to these advantages, quantum radars can also be adopted in missile defense and space exploration in the future. They will revolutionize radar arsenals, according to researchers from PLA National University of Defense Technology in Changsha, Hunan province.
The Nanjing institute, part of Beijing-based China Electronics Technology Group Corp develops military surveillance radar systems. Its products have a wide presence in the People's Liberation Army and have been sold to more than 20 nations in Africa and Asia, according to the institute.