Y-8X / Gaoxin-6 Maritime Patrol Aircraft

The Y-8X or Y-8 MPA is a four-engine turboprop maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) in service with the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). It is a land-based maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft, based on the Y-8 turboprop transport aircraft. The aircraft was developed and built by Shaanxi Aircraft Industry Corporation, a subsidiary of AVIC 1.

Y-8 / chinamil.com / Photo by Yin Wenbo and Li Cunyong

It is the first long-range maritime patrol aircraft of the PLAN. The PLA Naval Aviation Corps operates a small fleet of the aircraft.

Y-8X development

Y-8 ‘Cub’ / theworldwars.net

The Y-8X development programme was commenced in 1983 when Shaanxi Aircraft Company (now Shaanxi Aircraft Industry Corporation) proposed the development of a special purpose aircraft based on the Y-8 turboprop transport aircraft. The Y-8 is a Chinese licensed copy of the Soviet / Russian An-12 Cub aircraft. Y-8X is the first special mission variant derived from the Y-8 military transport aircraft. The development project was assigned to Shaanxi in October 1983 and design proposal was approved by the PLAN in November 1984.

airwar.ru

The aircraft development was concluded with the completion of flight tests in less than a year. The first Y-8 MPA was delivered to the PLAN in late 1984. The aircraft received national design certification in 1985.

Design and features

The Y-8 MPA is based on the airframe of the Y-8 transport aircraft. The design incorporates high-mounted wings with drooping outer wing panels. The aircraft has a stepped cockpit and glassed-in nose. A large cylindrical radar dome is installed under the nose. The tail flats mounted on the fuselage are pointed with blunt tips. The landing gear pods are fitted on the midsection of the lower body.

Generic Weather Radar

chinamil.com.cn / Photo by Qin Qianjiang

GENERAL DATA:
Type: Radar Altitude Max: 0 m
Range Max: 64.8 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0.4 km Generation: Early 1970s
Properties: Pulse-only Radar
SENSORS / EW:
Generic Weather Radar – Radar
Role: Radar, Weather
Max Range: 64.8 km

Source cmano-db.com

The aircraft is fitted with infrared anti-submarine detection equipment including sonobuoys and a sonar receiver. There are low-altitude and medium to high-altitude optical cameras, and an infrared camera installed for aerial imagery.

Generic FLIR

IntelligencePorn @reddit

GENERAL DATA:
Type: Infrared Altitude Max: 0 m
Range Max: 83.3 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0 km Generation: Infrared, 3rd Generation Imaging (2000s/2010s, Impr LANTIRN, Litening II/III, ATFLIR)
Properties: Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) [Side Info], Classification [Class Info] / Brilliant Weapon [Automatic Target Aquisition], Continous Tracking Capability [Visual]
SENSORS / EW:
Generic FLIR – (3rd Gen, Surveillance & Periscope Search) Infrared
Role: Infrared, Surveillance Camera
Max Range: 83.3 km

Source cmano-db.com

Generic MAD

81.cn / Liu Zhimin

GENERAL DATA:
Type: MAD Altitude Max: 0 m
Range Max: 1.9 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0 km Generation: Early 1970s
SENSORS / EW:
Generic MAD – MAD
Role: MAD
Max Range: 1.9 km

Source cmano-db.com

The rear cargo door has been removed to accommodate the mission equipment window. An additional seat has been provided for the radar operator. The sonar operator cabin is added in place of the tail cannon turret on the Y-8 aircraft. Emergency equipment includes five-man or single-man lifeboats.

Missions

IntelligencePorn @reddit

The Y-8X can perform maritime patrol, surveillance, anti-submarine warfare and search and rescue (SAR) missions. The aircraft conducts patrols in the East China Sea region. The PLAN also deployed the aircraft in various reconnaissance missions to collect aerial photos of the islands near the South China Sea. The aircraft can also be equipped for electronic and signal intelligence missions.

Armament

by Polyeve

The Gaoxin-6 does feature a bomb bay, but it is unclear precisely how much and what types of ordnance it is capable of delivering. The P-3C, by comparison, can carry 20,000 pounds of ordnance, including Harpoon anti-ship missiles and Maverick air-to-ground missiles. According to China Daily, the Gaoxin-6’s commissioning brings China into a club of five other nations that operate similarly sophisticated anti-submarine warfare ISR aircraft: the United States, Russia, Japan, the UK and France. A long-range anti-submarine ISR capability is critical for the Chinese navy’s blue-water ambitions. Without an ability to detect submarines in unfamiliar waters, the PLAN’s surface vessels would remain immensely vulnerable to hostile submarines. Source thediplomat.com

Yu-7 Torpedo

by Polyeve

The Yu-7 (Chinese: 鱼-7; pinyin: yú-7; lit.: ‘fish 7’ as the Chinese word for torpedo is 鱼雷 or “fish bomb”) is a lightweight torpedo developed by the People’s Republic of China. It entered service in the 1990s as the principle anti-submarine weapon of major People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) warships. The Yu-7 is a derivative of the Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subacquei (WASS) A244/S torpedo. Source dbpedia.org

GENERAL DATA:
Type: Torpedo Weight: 235.0 kg
Length: 2.6 m Span: 0.324 m
Diameter: 0.324 Generation: None
Properties: Search Pattern, Bearing-Only Launch (BOL), Re-Attack Capability
Targets: Submarine
SENSORS / EW:
Torpedo Seeker – (Yu-7) Hull Sonar, Active/Passive
Torpedo Seeker, Active/Passive
Max Range: 0.5 km
WEAPONS:
Yu-7 – (China, 1998?) Torpedo
Subsurface Max: 3.7 km.

Source cmano-db.com

Y-8X Countermeasures and avionics

The Y-8 MPA features an upgraded avionics suite and mission equipment. The aircraft is equipped with Doppler navigation radar, radio compass, radio altimeter, beacon marker receiver and identification friend or foe (IFF).

There is an APSO-504(V)3 surface search radar housed in the under-chin dome. The aircraft also features an inertial navigation system (INS) and Omega global navigation system.

APSO-504(V)3 surface search radar

IntelligencePorn @reddit

GENERAL DATA:
Type: Radar Altitude Max: 0 m
Range Max: 370.4 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0.6 km Generation: Early 1980s
Properties: Periscope/Surface Search – Fine Range Resolution + Rapid Scan [1980+], Track While Scan (TWS), Pulse Doppler Radar (Full LDSD Capability)
SENSORS / EW:
CA/APS-504(V)3 [AN/APS-141] – (APSO-504(V)3) Radar
Role: Radar, Surface Search, Long-Range
Max Range: 370.4 km

Source cmano-db.com

“The Y-8 MPA features an upgraded avionics suite.”

The aircraft is equipped with a self-defence electronic countermeasures (ECM) suite, which consists of an all-aspect radar warning receiver (RWR) and chaff / flare dispenser.

The aircraft can fire chaff / flare to deceive incoming anti-aircraft missiles.

Engine

chinamil.com.cn / Photo by Qin Qianjiang

The Y-8X is powered by four WJ-6 turboprop engines mounted under the wings. Each engine, driving four four-bladed propellers develops a power output of 3,170kW.

Turbojet 6 aero engine

Turboprop engine, referred to as turboprop engine. The turboprop engine is composed of a propeller and a gas generator, and the propeller is driven by a turbine. Due to the large diameter of the propeller, the speed is much lower than that of the turbine, only about 1000 rpm. In order to make the turbine and the propeller work in the normal range, it is necessary to install a reducer between them to reduce the turbine speed to ten. Only after about one-half of the time can the propeller drive. This type of reducer has heavy load, complex structure and high manufacturing cost. Its weight is generally equivalent to the total weight of the compressor and turbine. As an integral part of the engine, the reducer occupies a very important position in the design, manufacturing and testing. .

Our company started to develop turboprop engines in August 1969. It was put on the bench for the first time in September 1970, and the first test flight took place in April 1973. In 1976, the design was finalized and it was equipped with the Y-8 aircraft. The turboprop engine series of our company mainly includes the turboprop-6A modification. In order to increase the power, the modification design was started in 1977, and the first prototype was made in 1983, and the performance met the requirements. It has an annual production capacity of 100 series engines.

The turboprop 6 aircraft engine is a single-shaft high-altitude turboprop engine, used as the power of the Yun-8 aircraft and the Il-18 aircraft.

The engine was awarded the title of Ministry of Quality Product in 1986.

The modified turboprop 6 aircraft engine has more advanced performance and can be used as the power of the Yun-8 airtight aircraft. Source aeccsi.com

Landing gear

IntelligencePorn @reddit

The aircraft is fitted with tricycle landing gear consisting of a carbon brake system with electronic anti-skid and non-tube low-pressure tyres. The landing gear improves the temperature during take off and landing, performance and adaptability of aircraft for short runways.

Performance

chinamil.com.cn / Photo by Fu Dongchen and Bu Lingbin

The Y-8 MPA can conduct day or night operations during all weather conditions. The aircraft can fly at a maximum speed of 662km/h. It has a range of 5,620km and service ceiling of 10,400m. The flight endurance is 10.5 hours. The aircraft can climb at a rate of 10m/s. The maximum take-off weight is 61,000kg.

Main material source naval-technology.com

Images are from public domain unless otherwise stated

Main image Photo by China Daily

Revised May 15, 2021

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