China is developing a reconnaissance aircraft equipped with a radar system which would help spot enemy stealth planes, stated Chinese military observers.

According to a report by South China Morning Post, the Chinese state media confirmed Monday that the country was constructing its first carrier-borne early-warning aircraft called KJ-600. The plane would be launched from the country’s new aircraft carrier, the report stated.

According to Chinese military observers, the KJ-600 will be equipped with an advanced active electronically scanned array (AESA) which would allow the aircraft to detect United States stealth planes like F-22s and the F-35s.

Li Jie, a military expert based in Beijing, stated the new reconnaissance plane might also become an airborne command center. Jie said, “AESA can detect stealth fighters at a very long range.”

Jie also said the KJ-600 would fill a pivotal gap between the U.S. and China in terms of weaponry and also enhances the battle efficiency of China’s carrier battle groups.

F-35 China is developing a reconnaissance aircraft capable to detect stealth planes. Here, a F-35 fighter jet takeoffs for a training mission at Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, Utah, March. 15, 2017. Photo: George Frey/Getty Images

Zhou Chenming, another military analyst from Beijing, stated the radar system would put the KJ-600 on the same level as the early-warning aircrafts of the U.S.

Chenming said, “The biggest advantage of the KJ-600 is it’s equipped with a more sophisticated radar and communication system allowing it to monitor a wider range of signals and even detect stealth fighters in a certain angle.”

According to the report, as of now, Chinese aircraft carrier battle group was limited to shipboard surveillance radars, which don’t have a long range due to the Earth’s structure.

Colin Koh, a research fellow at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies’ Maritime Security Programme, Singapore, said China's move to develop the KJ-600 pointed to the fact that the country wanted its carrier group to work far from the shores.

The news of the development of KJ-600 was also reported by Eastern Arsenal, a U.S. military and R&D blog, in 2017.

The report stated the KJ-600 was being developed by the Xian Aircraft Corporation. It also said the aircraft weighed 25-30 tons and had a twin-engine FWJ-6C turboprop engines which powered it. It also talked about the AESA radar which was said to be one of the most important features of the aircraft.

The KJ-600 was quite different from the other twin engine turboprop aircrafts because of its wings that could be folded and a four-rudder airframe tail which had a resemblance with the U.S. E-2 Hawkeye aircraft.

The Chinese reconnaissance aircraft would most probably have a crew consisting of five to six people. The team would include a pilot, a co-pilot and the remaining ones would work on the radar and combat control systems.

With regard to China’s capacity for combat data-linking, the KJ-600 would most probably be able to assist in targeting long-range Chinese missiles and also have the capability to collect data from numerous platforms into a single stream, the report added.