China’s Meter Wave Radar Can Guide Missiles to Destroy F-35 and F-22 Stealth Fighters

China’s meter wave anti-stealth radar not only detects advanced stealth aircraft but also guides missiles to destroy them, a senior Chinese radar designer said at a recent interview.

Meter wave radar can be deployed on vehicles, on land and warships, creating a dense web that gives hostile stealth aircraft nowhere to hide.

Meter wave radars can detect stealth aircraft because modern stealth aircraft are mainly designed to avoid detection by microwave radar, and are less stealthy to meter wave radar.

They have low resolution and accuracy which only lets them warn about stealth fighters and the general direction.

Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military analyst, says China has solved stealth plant targeting by designing the world’s first practical meter wave sparse array synthetic impulse and aperture radar.

Wu said that his radar has multiple transmitting and receiving antennas tens of meters high, scattered in a range of tens to hundreds of meters. They can continuously cover the sky as the radar receives echoes from all directions.

Wei said that this significantly enhances the radar’s ability to track an aerial target, pinpointing the stealth aircraft’s exact coordinates by synthesizing parameters and data gathered by the radar under the support of advanced algorithms.

Russia’s Sunflower low-frequency over-the-horizon radar has existed for a few years and can detect US F-35 stealth fighters up to a range of about 300 miles. However, they cannot target the F-35.

33 thoughts on “China’s Meter Wave Radar Can Guide Missiles to Destroy F-35 and F-22 Stealth Fighters”

  1. It is you who is not good at reading. Repeat: meter wave signals are not precise enough to do the job at the terminal portion of the flight into the target. They may TARGET a plane, but that is not the same as HITTING a plane. They can claim whatever they want, but physics remains the same.

    Reply
  2. you are not good at reading and comprehension….this radar can target aircraft, not just detect, advanced processing daaa.

    Reply
  3. “China’s Meter Wave Radar Can Guide Missiles to Destroy F-35 and F-22 Stealth Fighters”

    No, some Chinese radar manufacturer SAID it can. Not the same thing at all.

    Reply
  4. They just need to use this to get a missile close enough, the missiles own targeting system, optical or whatever will do the rest. It’s increasingly clear the stealth era is over. Everyone is moving to swarms and high velocity missiles, quantity and production capacity of offensive missiles wins the game. China losses because America is defending itself by attacking at long range, China can’t do that.

    Reply
  5. The real advantage of stealth isn’t invisibility. Rather, it prevents the aircraft from being targeted accurately enough to be hit by missiles. Close misses aren’t close enough.

    Reply
  6. Depends on how big the “space-based kinetic impactors are. You’re talking city busters and (I believe) the OP is referring to something more tactically sized, hence dodgeable given enough reaction time.

    Reply
  7. Electro Optic Deflection is coming, and might already be in play in some of our sea and air assets. This will be one of the very first real world military applications of quantum technology; and a complete game changer too. We have it; they don’t, and are implementing it right now. This tech will make such engineering monstrosities just big targets (as so eloquently stated below) and will render much of the current AAA technology obsolete. China knows that any kind of shooting war with the west will not only result in defeat, but will doom them economically….

    Reply
  8. “you can see anything coming from “space” a long way/time off. Easy enough to move enough to cause a miss. Space-based kinetic impactors are really only effective against fixed targets like bunkers, cities, bases, etc”

    I’m not sure what your point is, unless you are thinking that precision strikes would be the rule in a war between the US and China. Think WW2, not smart bombing Saddam. If China and the US go to war it is likely to be to the knife in ways that would make Sun Tzu blanch. In that case, cities and populated areas are definitely on the menu through nukes or kinetic strikes, EMP munitions or high velocity kitchen sinks for that matter. Both countries are too powerful for anything else, so to let one up off the mat and show restraint is not really going to be an option.

    Reply
  9. No a long as it is a proper fraction of the origonal signal size it will detect it. It is not like they can easily tune this radar. Besides you can design it that it uses gps and then merely uses rf signal strength and not a particular frequency to home in on. There are few emission sources comparable to a radar emitter. At most it would also target microwave com links in the area.

    Reply
  10. You do realize that the power and telecom frid WOULD be the target list of any adversary. All that does is move them up the target list. A country has to have a truly robust defense system allways works to conduct the first strike. The problem China and Russia has to a lesser extent is that all of their eggs are in one basket. In the case of Chine on the coastal plains. The advantage the u.s. and Europe to a lesser extent (because of their weaker military and lack of defense depth) is that their military and industrial infrastructure is spread out and that will only get worse as the 4th industrial revolution truly takes off. The 4th industrial revolution is going to be unkind to China snd the developing world.

    Reply
  11. If the wave lenght is one meter, solution is easy: instead of one big cruise missile, use many small (one meter long or less) missile. Those will be undetectable…

    Reply
  12. All cellphone mast-derived air surveillance approaches depend on the unlikely assumption that the national electric power grid wasn’t knocked out.

    Reply
  13. I’m not sure if regular HARMs can detect such long wavelengths at all.

    A look back to the infancy of radar tech – WW2 – helps with a first understanding of long wavelength radars. The Freya radar operated at about 2.4 m wavelength and could achieve a 0.1° angular resolution and about 0.25% of range accuracy.

    Let’s say such a radar would detect and track an aircraft at 100 km USING WW2 TECHNOLOGY its user would know the target to be in a 175x175x250 m box.

    Now guess what multiple networked radars using 2010’s technology can do.

    It won’t suffice for a reasonable hit-to-kill guidance approach, but it’s easily enough to hand over the target to a cheap missile sensor (cheap IIR or mm wavelength radar) for terminal guidance.
    ———–
    F-35’s AN/APG-81 won’t burn through SAM electronics. It’s a man-made radar of approx. 30 kW, not some mythological weapon of god’s wrath. Furthermore, it is limited to a mere 120° field of view. It won’t be able to jam decimetric or metric radars either.
    ————
    With the infusion of new R&D money in the US military, you can bet that … almost all of it gets wasted. Nowadays they started jsut another hypervelocity missile project, after research during the 80’s and the 90’s FastHawk/HyStrike projects as well as army projects on LOSAT and CKEM – all of which yielded not a single operational munition so far.

    Reply
  14. One issue: you can see anything coming from “space” a long way/time off. Easy enough to move enough to cause a miss. Space-based kinetic impactors are really only effective against fixed targets like bunkers, cities, bases, etc.

    Reply
  15. And to counter the “many missiles” is the laser-based defense in pods on aircraft and on ships, so spending a $1 a shot to blind/destroy a $10K (actually $1M+) missile means the economy of scale moves back to the technological edge.

    Reply
  16. Other assets locate the antennas and update coordinates to either the aircraft/ships launching anti-radiation missiles, or in-flight updates to cruise missiles, so if priority A target is destroyed, it goes to next on the list. Since these antennas have to be fixed to work properly, they are vulnerable. Degrading a system just enough to allow stealth to slip through the gaps and hit targets works, since that’s the current strategy anyways.

    Reply
  17. I think they were able to “influence” the Nazi guide signal so they would bomb a “London” that was lights on a field. At least related to phased array tech. Needs control of phase, not merely direction, of signal.

    Reply
  18. If I remember correctly, that idea used the heavy phone signals to see “holes” in them that would thus indicate an invisible presence, a stealth object.

    Reply
  19. Right; That sort of approach can work with an opponent that has a much smaller economy than you, but once you’re facing somebody with a similar budget, economics become a large part of it.

    Reply
  20. Tends to work because stealth doesn’t make the plane invisible. It reduces reflections, but can’t prevent diffraction around edges.

    Mostly it’s about making sure that the signal doesn’t get reflected back the say it came, but instead off in odd directions. Which you solve by putting the transmitters and receivers in different locations.

    Reply
  21. It’s fundamental about stealthed aircraft that they’ll be visible at SOME wavelength, comparable to the feature size of the craft. So, yes, meter wave radar can pick them up. But can’t locate them very precisely, due to the large wavelength.

    This isn’t going to be a portable “pop up” solution, though. It will only work for territory you already securely hold and have air superiority over.

    Reply
  22. The fact is that large ground antennas are not only fixed location and are vulnerable to low-flying cruise missiles as well as ballistic missiles, but HARM missiles can hit them and Air-To-Air missiles on stealth aircraft will hit Surface-to-Air missiles before they get close as they will be visible from the start. Furthermore, meter-wave radar cannot actually guide the missiles into the target because that requires the precision of microwave radar, which does not work against stealth. With the infusion of new R&D money in the US military, you can bet that advanced weapons, like powerful lasers, for example, will further reduce Chinese military capabilities. Not mentioned is also the likelihood that of the F-35’s powerful phased-array radar will probably also be able to burn out the guidance electronics of SAMs before even coming close.

    Reply
  23. Looks like those radars would be a good use case for space based kinetic impactors. Maybe a tiny bit of targeting and course correction is needed.

    Reply
  24. I may have missed a few but, the last time I checked, Chinese missiles outranked their American counterparts in every weight category from A2A to ICBM–mostly by huge margins.

    In 2015 USAF General Herbert Carlisle told Congress that he can field two hundred F-22 Raptors carrying six missiles while China’s more numerous fighters each carry twelve longer ranged weapons, “Look at the PLA-15, at the range of that weapon. How do we counter that?” Following his testimony the Air Force canceled its E-8C AWACS recapitalization, explaining that they would be easy prey for the PLA-15. 

    The PLA-15’s smaller sibling, PLA-10, is no less deadly, says ISIS airpower specialist Douglas Barrie, “For the notional Western combat aircraft pilot, there is no obvious respite to be found in attempting to avoid within visual range threat of the PLA-10⁠1 by keeping beyond visual range. In this environment also the PLAAF will be able to mount an increasingly credible challenge and at engagement ranges against some targets that would previously have been considered safe. As one former US Air Force tanker pilot drily noted to this author, ‘“That’s aimed right at me.’” 

    1 The PLA-10, an air-to-air missile, has a more advanced guidance system and twice the range, speed and payload of the USAF AIM-9.

    Reply
  25. And if you modularize it enough, you could mount it on cellphone towers. Previously using cellphone towers as a distributed antenna to detect stealth aircraft sidelobes has been seriously proposed.

    Reply
  26. Ironically, the first British early warning radars operated in the 1-10m wavelength (~VHF) and could probably detect an F22 or F35 as well. The only innovation here is to take an absolutely massive radar array and break it down into smaller, more mobile chunks (but still friggin hard to hide). That last point is key: radars with longer wavelengths will always be difficult to hide and move and will always be primary targets in the opening days of a war.

    Reply
  27. And it boils down to how good are the SAM missiles protecting the site and MORE importantly how MANY SAM missiles do those defenses have in ready and available to stop an immediate attack. Because all you need to do is saturate the defenses. As long as the defenses are ground or sea based they have to be able to defend against an overwhelming attack.
    In the case of defending against a u.s. attack they have to defend against an attack launched outside of their SAM and air defense fighter cover range consisting of at a maximum 20 B-2A Spirit’s 320 AGM-158 JASSM-ERs; 62 B-1B Lancer’s 1,488 AGM-158 JASSM-ERs and 75 B-52H 528 AGM-86C/Ds and 972 AGM-158 JASSM-ERs for a total of 528 AGM-86C/Ds and 2,780 AGM-158 JASSM-ERs in the first wave Alpha Strike. Currently the U.S. wold be able to follow up with an addition 46 Alpha strikes before it ran out o smart weapons at current listed inventory levels.
    THAT type of attack is what made the U.S. and USSR Air Forces so dangerous against each other and any other adversary. And If China or ANY other country wants to match it they have to also be able to provide the same level of fighter cover that the U.S. and USSR Air Forces and Navies provided if they hoped to play remotely in the same ball game.

    Reply

Leave a Comment