The People’s Liberation Army is excited that its innovative JH-7A “Flying Leopard” fighter bomber can help equip China a much-needed boost in aerial electronic warfare. The JH-7A is an upgraded version of the JH-7 twin-engine fourth generation aircraft manufactured by the Xi’an Aircraft Industry Corporation. The fighter-bomber is said to be the most important step forward in China’s bid for electromagnetic supremacy, the modern answer to air supremacy in air combat.
The JH-7 is believed to be exactly what China needs, a durable aircraft that can engage in electronic warfare and be able to withstand electronic attacks, the fighter bomber’s load capacity is adequate to bear the advanced weight of Chinese electronic warfare equipment, which is said to be an average heavier than that of the U.S.
The People’s Liberation Army only has two aircraft with electronic warfare and countermeasure capabilities; the HD-6, the electronic warfare variant of the H-6 jet bomber and the Y-8G an electronic warfare model of the Y-8 transport aircraft.
According to Chinese news report, the JH-7A can carry combat weapons such as anti-radiation missiles with medium-range air-to-air missiles combination. Combining state-of-the-art electronic warfare equipment with lethal firepower, the JH-7A could end up as effective as the US Navy EA-18G Growler, the America’s carrier-based electronic warfare aircraft that once shot down an F-22A fighter in a training exercise, the report added.
The JH-7A’s combat radius of 1,350 kilometers and speeds of up to Mach 0.8, the aircraft will be able to attend in missions together with fighter jets like the J-10 and J-11. It is also noted that the JH-7A will add some stealth capabilities to make the plane more difficult to detect by radar.