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Sunday, September 2, 2012

NUMBER9: AWACS

(i)ZDK-03 AWACS



ZDK-03 is an export AWACS system being developed for the Pakistani Air Force. This project was initiated in the early 2000. A Y-8 AWACS testbed (serial # T0518/Project 021) based on Y-8 Category II Platform was first discovered at CFTE in early 2006. Unlike KJ-200, this variant carries a tranditional rotodome above its fuselage, with a mechanically rotating antenna inside. Therefore the Y-8 AWACS was speculated to be developed for the export market only as it appears less advanced than KJ-200
which features a fixed AESA radar. However this design does provide a true 360° coverage and carry a cheaper price tag. The AEW radar may be the product of the 38th Institute/CETC, but no details are available. The aircraft also features a solid nose with MAWS sensors on both sides, as well as two small vertial tail stablizers. The Y-8 AWACS protoype was promoted to Pakistani AF in 2006. After some negotiations a much improved design was developed based on PAF's specifications. The variant is now dubbed ZDK-03 (ZDK means CETC) and is based on the new Y-8 Category III Platform featuring WJ-6C turboprops with 6-blade propellers. It was reported in early 2009 that a total of 4 were ordered by PAF in a $278m deal. The first ZDK-03 rolled out in November 2010 at SAC, with the delivery to be scheduled by the end of 2010. A recent picture (July 2011) suggested that the second ZDK-03 has been built. ZDK-03 is expected to serve as the airborne command & control center for the JF-17 fighter fleet currently in service with PAF. However it appears to lack the secure datalink to effectively command western fighter aircraft such as American F-16. Recent images indicated that the T0518 testbed has been further modified to carry a fixed rotodom with three AESA antennas installed inside, which could be a downgraded version of the KJ-2000 AWACS system to be installed onboard the Y-7 carrierborne AWACs...

(ii)Saab-2000 AWACS

The Erieye AEW&C mission system radar is an active, phased-array, pulse-Doppler sensor that can feed an onboard operator architecture or downlink data (via an associated datalink subsystem) to a ground-based air defence network. The system employs a large aperture, dual-sided antenna array housed in a dorsal ‘plank’ fairing. The antenna is fixed, and the beam is electronically scanned, which provides for improved detection and significantly enhanced tracking performance compared with radar-dome antenna systems.Erieye detects and tracks air and sea targets out to the horizon (and beyond due to anomalous propagation)—instrumented range has been measured at 450 km.
Typical detection range against fighter-sized targets is approximately 350 km, in a 150° broadside sector, both sides of the aircraft. Outside these sectors, performance is reduced in forward and aft directions.Other system features include:Adaptive waveform generation (including digital, phase-coded pulse compression), signal processing and target trackingTrack While Scan (TWS)Low sidelobe values (throughout the system’s angular coverage)Low- and medium-pulse repetition frequency operating modesFrequency agilityAir-to-air and sea surveillance modesTarget radar cross-section displayThe radar operates as a medium- to high-PRF pulse-Doppler, solid-state radar, in E/F-band (3 GHz), incorporating 192 two-way transmit/receive modules that combine to produce a pencil beam, steered as required within the operating 150° sector each side of the aircraft (one side at a time). It is understood that Erieye has some ability to detect aircraft in the 30° sectors fore and aft of the aircraft heading, but has no track capability in this sector

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