The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy’s South China Sea Fleet deployed a “new type of electronic warfare aircraft” in its recent combat maneuvers, a move to greatly enhance the navy’s capabilities in modern warfare to safeguard the country’s sea rights, said Chinese military experts.
The new aircraft is the H-6G bomber developed for 10 years with the Electronic Countermeasures (ECM) pods being equipped underneath its wings. It was the first time the bomber played “a supporting role in the electronic warfare,” according to Military Time, a China Central Television CCTV military program on Saturday.
The modified H-6G fitted with ECM pods can engage in combat missions using electronic jamming, suppression, and anti-radiation, the program said.
“The main role of the electronic fighters is to obstruct the enemies’ electronic jamming devices – for example, radar, to temporarily or permanently, if powerful enough, cover the surveillance devices and to hide our combat platforms’ track,” Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times.
Song added that “the H-6G electronic warfare aircraft boasts of high electronic jamming power and can cover relatively bigger combat areas such as the South China Sea and East China Sea.”
China has developed advanced and standardized ECM pods to modify multiple types of fighter jets for such combat requirements, such as the J-15 type fighter jets. Using the ECM pods in fighters is the most efficient and effective way, Song noted.
China’s JH-7 fighter bomber was also seen carrying such ECM pods in previous PLA Air Force military practices, according to CCTV.
China’s PLA Navy deploys such EMC pods carrying aircraft together with its warships and other combat vessels for electronic combat missions and to enhance combat capabilities, Song said.