Hong Kong newspaper The Mirror magazine reports that China has finalised the development of its newest large antisubmarine aircraft Gaoxin-6, and will formally commission it in the future. Gaoxin 6 is equal to or surpasses US P-3C antisubmarine aircraft in its functions and will greatly enhance PLA’s antisubmarine capacity.
The report says that only Russia, the US, the UK and France are able to produce such large antisubmarine aircrafts, while China was not able to until now. The commissioning of Gaoxin-6 will be a major breakthrough in PLA’s antisubmarine capability.
According to the report, there are over 200 US-made P-3C antisubmarine aircraft in the areas around China. Those aircraft are nightmares for China, as they keep 24-hour surveillance on Chinese submarines. The PLA urgently hopes that China can develop a new antisubmarine aircraft to put other countries’ submarines under similar surveillance. However, as China lagged far behind in technology, it had been unable to produce such an aircraft in spite of years of research and development.
China learnt US technology from a forcibly landed US surveillance aircraft
On April 1, 2001, an American EP-3C surveillance aircraft was damaged due to a collision with a Chinese fighter plane, and had a forced landing at a Chinese airfield on Hainan Island. The Chinese stripped the US aircraft and studied it thoroughly. According to The Mirror, a Chinese scientist shed lots of tears when he held a piece of US equipment in his hands. He had been working for 8 years to develop something of similar functions without success. Seeing the US piece, he found a way to make breakthroughs in his research.
Gaoxin 6 has been developed on the basis of China’s large Yun-8 transport aircrafts. It can take off from an airfield with a short runway to conduct antisubmarine surveillance.
It carries the most advanced detection radar, magnetic anomaly detector and electro optical pod, and is able to detect Japanese and US submarines even after they have been upgraded to become stealth ones. In addition, it can lay down 100 pieces of SONAR. It is not only a surveillance but also an attack aircraft, able to carry air-to-air missiles, bombs, naval mines, torpedoes, etc. to attack submarines and surface ships.
The Mirror says that if the PLA has 100 such large antisubmarine aircrafts, it will effectively constrain US and Japanese submarines.
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