China displayed what its developer calls the ‘first of its kind’ early warning radar drone, designated JY-300 at the Airshow China 2018which opened today at Zhuhai.
The unmanned early warning drone was developed by China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETGC), and is the size of combat-reconnaissance drone Caihong-4 (CH-4) which has a length of 11 meters and a width of 20 meters.
The JY-300 can be installed with multiple types of radar, including a fixed active phased array radar to monitor targets on sea and air. It adapts to complex climate and terrain conditions, such as plateaus and mountains.
Its in-flight range extends over 1,000 kilometers, and can fly at a height of more than 5,000 meters according to CETGC officials present at the show.
Information on the JY-300 was first made public in June at a radar expo in Nanjing, Jiangsu province. The drone is powered by a turboprop engine and offers low-cost but limited early warning functions as compared to a manned and fully equipped aircraft.
According to Chinese experts posting on Weibo chat service, the radar antenna of JY-300 drone is installed on both sides of the fuselage and the leading edge of the wing to minimizes the influence on the aerodynamic performance of the drone.
Equipped with a digital phased array radar, the drone can stay in the air for a long time, and detect low-altitude aircraft, cruise missiles, anti-ship missiles and targets such as surface ships and vehicles moving on the ground.