Our Bureau
12:12 PM, June 10, 2019
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Liu Yongtan, the lead scientist of the Over-the-Horizon radar (image: Weibo)

High frequency electromagnetic waves emitted by China’s newly developed maritime early warning radar system can travel along the sea surface that enables one to “see” whatever is beyond the horizon.

Waves emitted by a normal radar travels in a straight line. Since the Earth is round, it was not possible to see what was beyond the horizon. The new over-the-horizon radar makes it possible to detect and monitor vessels and aircraft beyond visual range.

“It features high frequency electromagnetic waves that have long wavelengths and wide beams,” Chinese academician Liu Yongtan, developer of the radar system, said in an interview with the Naval and Merchant Ships magazine published this month.

It is also immune to "radar killer" missiles and stealth aircraft. Normal radars cannot detect stealth aircraft. So, it was important to destroy radars first to let non-stealth aircraft in, safely. An anti-radiation missile tracks an electromagnetic wave emitting by the source.

“The long wavelengths used by the system enables it to detect stealth aircraft that are mainly designed to hide from microwaves,” according to experts.

“It can avoid attacks from anti-radiation missiles owing to the waves' wide beams, because such missiles cannot carry antenna large enough to track them,” Liu said.

“Liu's radar has a much higher chance of survival in a potential attack and can provide an umbrella for a sneak attack from stealth aircraft,” Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military analyst, told the Global Times on Monday.

According to Liu, land-based version of the system can detect naval and aerial hostiles hundreds of kilometers away.

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