China’s maritime early warning radar system is immune to “radar killer” missiles and is capable of detecting stealth aircraft, according to its developer in a recent interview with Naval and Merchant Ships magazine, and reported by the Global Times.
The maritime radar system, developed by a team led by Chinese scientist Liu Yongtan, can detect naval and aerial hostiles hundreds of kilometers away under any weather condition, the report said.
While electromagnetic waves are normally emitted by line of sight, and, since the Earth is round, most radar systems cannot see what is beyond the horizon. The high frequency waves used by Liu’s radar travel along the sea surface, and thus, make it possible to detect and monitor vessels and aircraft beyond visual range.
The long wavelengths used by the system mean it could also detect stealth aircraft, Liu said. This is because current stealth aircraft such as the F-35 are mainly designed to hide from microwaves and not waves of longer wavelengths, the report said.
The radar can also avoid attacks from anti-radiation missiles, thanks to the waves’ wide beams, because such missiles cannot carry antenna large enough (to track them), Liu said.
Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military analyst, told the Global Times that stealth aircraft and anti-radiation missiles are two killers of radar.
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 said.
In January, Liu received the 2018 State Preeminent Science and Technology Award — the nation’s highest scientific award with 8 million yuan (US$1.17 million) prize — for his contributions to the development of radar.