|Chinese KLJ-3 pulse Doppler fire control radar|
Recently, Russian media reports that the Chinese J-10 fighter uses NIIR Phazotron Company’s Zhuk Zhemchoug airborne fire control radar. In fact, PLA Air force J-10 is equipped domestic KLJ-3 pulse Doppler fire control radar.
KLJ-3 radar is indeed the result of the introduction of foreign technology, but it is not from Russia, but Israel.
In 1986, J-10 fighter program started. When the Chinese Air Force dispatched pilots go to France to fly Mirage 2000 for evaluation, the Chinese pilots were impressed with Mirage-2000′s avionics and advanced cockpit display system. After the test in France, Pilot Ge Wenyong bluntly said that if counterpart Mirage 2000 pilots do not make mistakes, PLA Air Force J-7 and J-8 fighters have no chance of winning. But Chinese electronics industry was weak at 1980s, and it is difficult to meet the development requirements of the new combat aircraft. In this case, the Heads of Chinese military has determined to actively introduce advanced foreign technology, and push the the development of Chinese avionics industry.
In later 1980s, China began aviation technical cooperation with Israel, including the a full set of LAVI fighter avionics systems. LAVI’s original EL/M-2035 multifunction pulse Doppler fire control radar, which uses a phase parameters transmitter and multi-channel receiver, programmable signal processing system, look-down capacity as 46 km detection range. Its air-to-air modes include RWS (range-while-search), TWS (Track-While-Scan), dogfight, single target tracking; the air-to-ground modes include ranging, real beam mapping and Doppler beam sharpening. The radar has weights of 138 kg. However when the LAVI project ended, the development of EL/M-2035 was also cancelled.
Later, Israel improved EL/M-2035 improvements into EL/M-2032, which was displayed for the first time at the 1987 Paris Air Show. EL/M-2032 in aerial target designation mode has the maximum search distance to reach 150 km; in the air-to-sea mode detection range over 300 km. There have been reports that the Israeli Air Force are not satisfied with F-16I fighter AN/APG-68V-9 radar’s performance and hoped to replace by EL/M-2032 radar, but the United States refused. This also reflects high- performance EL/M-2032, rising as a threat to the U.S. radar.
The introduction of the LAVI aviation electronic systems in China, was known as the 873 avionics integrated system based on 1553B data bus, which was officially launched in 1989, began to conduct test flights in 1993. Other sub-systems including airborne radar, inertial navigation, mission computer display management sub-systems, air data computers, plug-in management system. The 873 project has laid a solid foundation for J-10 to reach full operational capability and greatly raise the R&D Level of Chinese aviation industry.