Chinese Tupolev Tu-2 & Tu-4 night fighters

Temistocle

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Hi all,
I just finished reading the book "The Black Bats" by Chris Pocock, which describes the Taiwanese spy flights over mainland China from 1949.
The PLA jet fighters were too fast to intercept the Taiwanese P2V Neptunes by night, so they developed a nightfighter version of their "slow" airplanes, using the Tupolev Tu-2 and Tu-4 airframes (but with no success) . In the book the airplanes are briefly described; I found no other information in the web about these nightfighters.
Does anybody have pictures, drawings or other info about these two strange modifications?
Thanks in advance for your help !
Mauro
 

famvburg

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That sounds interesting. Would it be much trouble to provide the book's descriptions? These could be as good as the turbo-prop Il-10!
 

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From http://www.globalsecurity.org

Tu-4P Giant Night Fighter

The Continental air command early-warning radar aircraft combat airplane is the Tu-4, re-equipping as a giant night fighter aircraft, possibly the world the biggest air combat fighter. The Tu-4 was the American B-29 bomber aircraft which the Soviet Union imitates, and in March 1953 gave 10 to China. This batch of Tu-4 airplanes equipped the air force 4th Independent Groups, then stationed in the Hebei Shijiazhuang. Harassed by the Taiwan P2V-7U, the mainland air force, during re-equipping the Tu-2 night fighter, also proposed making modifications and re-equipping the Tu-4.

The Tu-4 night fighter re-equipping used a different plan. The airborne radar approach used was called "Cobalt" PSBN bombing aiming radar. This kind of radar's search range amounted to 100 kilometers, can be steered around 60 degrees, but can also make a 360-degree panoramic scan. This kind of radar was mainly used in the Il-28 bomber aircraft, where it was installed in the front of and underneath the the airplane. With the re-equipped Tu-4 night fighters, the "Cobalt" the radar was installed on the airplane's back turret, and the radar and optical sights needed to be cross-linked. To ensure night operation, the optical sight, searchlights and infrared sights were installed in the front cabin, and this kind of sight can discover the P2V-7U target within 3 kilometers. The Tu-4 spacious bomb bays were converted for use as an airborne command post, mounting in the cabin the radar external connection monitor, and placed the chart table and communications link in the cabin, for receiving ground air intelligence and coordinating Tu-4 airplanes on the emplacement of the operations.

After the conversion the Tu-4P giant night fighter was simply a giant airborne cruiser. Equipped with five pairs of body-mounted 23 millimeter aerial cannons in revolving turrets, even Taiwan's F-86 fighter aircraft were not the Tu-4P's match. At that time the four powerful engines which drove the giant invincible night fighter made a huge roar in the sky and raised dust everywhere to capture the mouse-like P2V. The pilot's hearts are always filled with invincible, indomitable pride and feeling of superiority. However, the Tu-4P record is not satisfactory.

On 19 December 1960 an attempt was made to intercept one P2V at night in Zhangjiakou by three batches of giant Tu-4P night fighters. The Tu-4P almost did not need the ground radar control, as they could use their own "Cobalt" radar to find the goal very quickly. The ground director guiding the Tu-4P to intercept at night was the opposite to guiding the Mig-17, the difference between "heaven on earth". The P2V was nearly unable to get rid of these giant fighter aircraft. But the equipment was really bad - the infrared sights' error amounted to nearly 2 degrees, and had a very heavy afterglow. In several raids the Tu-4P opened fire in pursuit, but did not cause P2V mortal harm. And when this P2V arrived in the Shandong Linyi sky, it encountered the third batch of Tu-4P in dogfight which lasted for 35 minutes, but the P2V finally escaped.

Although the modified Tu-4P was too unwieldy as a night fighter, there was already the early early-warning aircraft's embryonic form. During World War II the performance of the U.S. Navy's carrier-borne TBM-3W "Avenger" early warning aircraft was also mediocre. However, in the nine years from 1960-1969 the mainland air force di not make further effort in the development of airborne early warning aircraft. In 1966 the Great Cultural Revolution erupted, which had a large negative impact on technology advancement, and many very good projects and proposal were put aside.
 

Temistocle

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The info about Tupolev nightfighters and their air-air combats, extracted from the book "The Black Bats" by Chris Pocock (with Clarence Fu Jing Ping), Schiffer, 2010. Some information for this book was taken from a previous book by Clarence Fu Jing Ping about the same subject (only in Chinese).

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In 1958 the PLA was using MiG-17PF against the Taiwanese B-17s and P2Vs (used for spying missions and for dropping supply, agents and leaflet) but the jet fighter was too fast to have a good chance to shotdown the intruders. The PLA so decided to convert three Tu-2 twin engine bombers with the RP-5 radar from the MiG-17PF. The bomber would have also a better endurance to patrol the sky following the GCI information (the jets can loitering only 20 minutes).
The radar was installed in the nose of the Tu-2, with two 23-mm guns in the wing roots. The navigator station behind the pilot was modified for a second pilot who guided the aircraft during the interceptions using the radar scope. The radioman was retained and the navigator was positioned in the gunner seat. Nine crews of the 25th Bomber Division (Lintong air base, Shaanxi province) completed their training in the modified Tu-2PF in mid 1959.
Initially these nightfighters were ineffective, so in 1960 another project was proposed: convert the four engine Tupolev Tu-4 in a long endurance nightfighter. Its speed matched that of the P2V and with an endurance of more than six hours it can follow the intruder for a long time.
The bomber radar (in a belly radome) was eliminated and an AI radar was installed in another radome upper the fuselage (where the forward turret was previously situated). The other four defensive positions were retained (two under and one over the fuselage plus the tail position). An infrared sight with a range to two miles was added in the gun remote control positions. The bomb bay was converted in a command post with the radar screen and seats for an airborne intercept officier, two navigators and two chart plotters. The system was fly tested for a month (Wukong airbase, Shaanxi province), proving the concept, so three other Tu-4 wera modified.
The first attempted interception by a Tu-4 took place in the night of 1 March 1060. A P2V entered on the Chinese airspace over Jiangsu province, and immediately a MiG-17 was encountered, then searchlights and finally a Tu-4 followed the Taiwanese aircraft for a long time over Henan and Anhui provinces, but without managing to attack.
On the night of 19 November 1960 a P2V commanded by Lt Col Dai Shu Qing over Wenzhou encountered a strong resistance. Several MiG-15/17PFs tried and failed for two hours to intercept the intruder on a leaflet dropping mission. One of the Tu-4 also tried to follow the intruder, together with the special Tu-2PF interceptors. Two of them were launched from Zhengzhou (Henan province). GCI successively vectored each of them into position behind the intruder, but neither could acquire the target because of jamming from the P2V. The second Tu-2PF followed the P2V for 27 minutes across Henan at 3,000 feet or lower, making three attempts to attack. The P2V crew didn’t know they were being stalked by a converted World War II light bomber – the signals they intercepted told them that there was a radar equipped MiG-17PF. When the P2V was heading for the Mount Song (4,000 feet) Lt Dai made a sharp turn, and at the same time more chaff was deployed. Flying behind and slightly below the P2V, the front pilot in the Tu-2, group leader Shang De Zan, failed to spot his quarry's sharp turn and the second pilot (at the radarscope) locked onto the chaff, so Tu-2 fired at a nonexistent target. Shang struggled to climb over the mountain, but he failed by 1,000 feet, as the Tu-2 slammed into the peak. The GCI re-acquired the P2V and ordered the other Tu-2 that was still airborne to follow it, and scrambled a third Tu-2. One of the Tu-2s closed to within less than a mile, but its radar was jammed by the P2V. The GCI controller told to fire anyway, but nothing more was heard from pilot Zhao Yong Shou on the second Tu-2 (they impacted a rising ground at about 1,000 feet). The remaining Tu-2 was recalled to base (both losses were probably caused by the pilots being temporarily blinded by tracer fire from the cannons in the wing roots). The P2V returned at its base after a flight of 10 hours and 30 minutes.
On 19 December 1960 Lt Col Zhao Qin and its crew on board on a P2V were intercepted by one of the Tu-4P heavy bomber conversions. The jammer did not work against the Tu-4's modified search radar. For 10 minutes over Zhangjiakou, the Tu-4 chased the P2V, as low as 100 feet. The waist gun turrets on the Tu-4 opened fire at the P2V but missed. The Tu-4 had a speed advantage (210 vs 160 knots) so it could recover position after a failed attack. The P2V pilots didn’t increase their own speed by turning on their auxiliary turbojets, for fear that the glow of the jet exhaust would make them an easier target. At one point the Tu-4 flew underneath the P2V, but the crew managed to shake off the pursuit and continued the mission. Then they were unsuccessfully attacked by a MiG, then during the home to Taiwan they were illuminated by about 15 searchlights. After some AA fire the P2V was re-engaged by a Tu-4. It chased the P2V out of the mainland, firing periodically; the bomber's 23mm cannons fired 250 rounds in total but without effect. The Tu-4 had no gun turret in the belly position, so it could not fire downwards at the P2V from an easy position. Zhao's P2V landed back at Hsinchu after 14 hours and 45 minutes (in the flight report the crew reported that their attacker was a Yak-25, a Soviet interceptor that was never supplied to the PRC).
On 4 November 1961, Lt Col Ye Lin and his crew took off from Hsinchu and flew north along the mainland coast before flying into Jiangsi, Shandong, and Hebei provinces, and directly over Beijing. The P2V was intercepted over Shandong by a Tu-4 and followed to repeated attacks by the Tu-4 until it reached international waters. Cannon fire from the Tu-4 hit the trailing edge of the P2V's left wing. The P2V escaped the attacks and land at Kunsan. The crew were the first to confirm that the large aircraft that had been stalking the P2V overflights for more than a year was a Tu-4.
On the night of 26 November 1962 a Tu-4 chased a P2V out of Jiangsu shortly after it had entered the mainland airspace. The aircraft escaped the interception.
On 28 January 1963 a Tu-4 fired on a P2V over Shandong. This mission was trying to drop arms and radios to an agent group, as well as propaganda leaflets. There was no way for the P2V crew to jam the Tu-4's search radar, other than to drop chaff; the plane returned safely at home.
On 28 March 1963 another flight into Jiangsu was aborted due to a combination of bad weather and
interception attempts by MiGs and a Tu-4; the aircraft escaped all the interceptions.
On the night of 19 June 1963 a P2V (pilot Lt Col Zhou Yi Li) was intercepted repeatedly as it flew across Zhejiang, Jiangxi, and Hubei. MiG-17PFs and Tu-4Ps made eight unsuccessful attacking runs against the P2V. A while later two more MiG-17PFs were scrambled from Xiangtang airbase, making some other attacks to the P2V. The aircraft continued unharmed in a westerly direction, despite two attempted interceptions by a Tu-4. An hour later the intruder returned within range of the fighters from Xiangtang. The deputy group commander, Wang Wen Li. After some unsuccessfully attacks guided by the onboard radar, Wang saw a faint blue flame from the intruder engines, so used the optical sight to fire for two seconds at a range of 300 feet. The target burst into flames and the P2V fell to the ground near Linchuan, in Jiangxi (it was the first P2V downed in an air-to-air engagement).
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Archibald

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The Sino-Taiwanese air war was... weird. A copy of a Boeing bomber (Tu-4 !) ended chasing another Boeing bomber (B-17 !) and repurposed P2V Neptunes - above the Chiese countryside. :eek::eek::eek:
 

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The chinese certainly did bizarre things with their Tu-4s. A long time ago a pair of Le Fana de l'Aviation reporters visited the Beijing aviation museum; and there was one of the Chinese Tu-4 - with 6000 hp turboprops and an AWACS radome, no less.
I wish there was a biography on these aircraft, which had extremely long careers even with the H-6 to replace them. I heard some lasted well into the 80's, perhaps for that early AWACS program.
 

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More of seven years passed from my post, in the meantime I hoped for a picture of the converted Tu-2s and/or Tu-4s...
Regarding the Tu-2, I believe that no photos of it are known to exist publicly. However, The Tu-4 does have a few photos of which I have attached below.

The bomb bay of the Tu-4 was converted into a command post, with the radar display, a charts table and radios to communicate with ground-based stations. The radar was mounted in the rear of the aircraft in the back turret. The radar and optical and infrared sights, which were installed in the front of the aircraft with a searchlight, were crosslinked for better aiming and the ability to fly and engage targets at night. The searchlight had a useful range of 3km. The radar, the "Cobalt" PSBN bombing radar had a range of up to 100km and could make 60 degree scopes, or revolve 360 degrees.

More information is available from these sources:

PLAAF Lt Gen Lin Hu`s memoir Fight to Protect the Motherland's Airspace—A Retrospective of the Air Battles in the First Twenty Years of New China, Pg. 134
 

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sat_dxer

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Re: Tu-4P Giant Night Fighter

Due to the article cited above being behind a paywall it’s not possible to review the all sources used.

In researching this in Yefim Gordon’s Tupolev Tu-4 The First Soviet Strategic Bomber the Bull as a G-310 extra heavy interceptor prototype, was a sort of flying SAM site if you will and the Chinese use “albeit a less sophisticated one” was because of its comparable speed to the P2V.

If and when General Hu's book is translated into English, might be worth the chance to pick up to read.
 
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Temistocle

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PLAAF Lt Gen Lin Hu`s memoir Fight to Protect the Motherland's Airspace—A Retrospective of the Air Battles in the First Twenty Years of New China, Pg. 134
Thank you Wyvern!
Digging a liitle more in Internet I found in the following link these two pictures (with their Google translared captions), with some other info:

The People’s Air Force "Air Battleship" in the fight against the "Black Bat Squadron"

640.jpg

Picture-4П "Restoration Picture", pay attention to the radome protruding up and down

641.jpg

Picture-4П a very rare real machine picture (No. 0049) modified to night interception type, pay attention to the additional radome. The small picture in the lower right corner shows Major Wang De'an, who was then the deputy commander of the Independent Regiment, who drove the aircraft several times to meet the enemy.
 

Avimimus

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More of seven years passed from my post, in the meantime I hoped for a picture of the converted Tu-2s and/or Tu-4s...

My reaction was 'why would you want to see that'?! :D Which is an unusual reaction from me.

The Sino-Taiwanese air war was... weird. A copy of a Boeing bomber (Tu-4 !) ended chasing another Boeing bomber (B-17 !) and repurposed P2V Neptunes - above the Chiese countryside. :eek::eek::eek:

This forum never ceases to surprise.

From http://www.globalsecurity.org

Tu-4P Giant Night Fighter

The Continental air command early-warning radar aircraft combat airplane is the Tu-4, re-equipping as a giant night fighter aircraft, possibly the world the biggest air combat fighter.

The Tu-4 outweighs the TB-3 by ~30% so... yeah, it probably is.

(and even then, the TB-3 was apparently meant more as a multirole destroyer than as a bomber destroyer)
 

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Wyvern

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Due to the article cited above being behind a paywall it’s not possible to review the all sources used.
Yeah, unfortunately Global Security has been giving me problems like that recently. The problem is that there are few other English language articles that I could find.

If and when General Hu's book is translated into English, might be worth the chance to pick up to read.
Hopefully someone will have the initiative to do so one day.

Digging a liitle more in Internet I found in the following link these two pictures (with their Google translared captions), with some other info:
Great finds! These images must certainly be rare, and I doubt whether they have ever been shown in the west.
 

Temistocle

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Yeah, unfortunately Global Security has been giving me problems like that recently. The problem is that there are few other English language articles that I could find.
There are not references on that page, only the following two but about the Tu-4 in a general way:
  • Bolger, Daniel P. Reluctant Allies: The United States Army Air Force and the Soviet Voenno Vozdushnie Sily 1941-1945, CHICAGO UNIV IL January 1985, ADA169037
  • "A History of Strategic Arms Competition 1945-1972" (U), Volume 3, A Handbook Of Selected Soviet Weapon and Space Systems, United States Air Force, June 1976. pgs 82 and 85

The following three pages on Global Security site are related to the Tu-4 night fighter (also with no references):

Tu-2 Dive Bomber / Night Fighter

The Tu-2 dive bomber, also used as a light bomber and reconnaissance plane, was an exceptional Soviet aircraft of World War II. The first airplanes entered combat in July 1941, but mass production was delayed until the end of 1943. By the end of the war the Tu-2 had proved itself in variety of different operational roles. The aircraft was successfully used against Japanese troops in China and later by the Soviet and Chinese Air Forces during the Korean War in 1950-1953. The Korean War was the last major war to witness the deployment of piston aircrafts. The Soviet Yak-9 fighters and Tu-2 bombers frequently appeared in the skies above the battlefield in support of Northern forces.

At that time, although the Mig-17 had night flying capability, the intercept range was too short. Regardless of whether the fuel tank was full on takeoff, soon after the MiG pilot took off, surely the fuel mass indicator made a sound warning that the fuel was low. This sound made the pilot anxious while in pursuit of enemy airplanes. Sometimes even before the target was discovered the goal, the fuel indicator had already started to report an emergency.

Therefore the Continental air command urgently needed a long night flight combat aircraft. In June 1958, the Continental air command installed RG-5 the radar on the Tu-2 bomber aircraft. When intercepting the low altitude Kuomintang airplanes, its cruise endurance may be up to 8 hours.

The Tu-2 airplane's shortcomings is that it is a slower aircraft. China implemented a a distributed deployment of the radar equipped Tu-2 at airports in vital areas, such as Jiangxi Xiangtang, Jiangsu Shuo, Zhengzhou and other places. However this attempt to use the Tu-2 to intercept the P2V-7U was not successful. The re-equipped Tu-2 night fighter had a detection range of less than 10 kilometers with th RG-5 radars, can only make an azimuth of 60 degrees scanning to the front. But the P2V-7U actually had an early-warning APS-20 radar that could scan 360 degrees azimuth, and had a moving target indicator that could show a moving target in the background clutter. The ASP-20 had a 105 kilometers range for low target detection. The detection range and scope of both the target and clutter detection capability of the Tu-2 were less favorable than the P2V-7U, and the Tu-2 maximum speed was only 547 km per hour, while the P2V-7U had a maximum flight speed of 556 km per hour. The technical indicators for the completion of the task made it very difficult to intercept. In the five years from 1959 to 1964, the Tu-2 night fighters did not obtain any victory.

On the dark night of 19 November 1960, a pair of Tu-2 took off from Henan Zhengzhou to intercept the P2V-7U from Anhui, but one crashed into Mt. Songshan. The reason is RG-5 the radar does not have the means to discriminate the mountain and the target, but on the P2V-7U APS-20 radar can actually see clearly the mountainous region, and found the route to detour around the mountain. At that time P2V-7U adopted the tactic flying straight to the mountain peak, then following the terrain to leap around the mountain peak. The pursuing Tu-2 could not distinguish clearly the mountain from the airplane.

When this P2V-7U returned from the Sanmen Straits, the other Tu-2 RG-5 radar detected it. Because of their relative positions, the two airplanes approached to within 1 kilometer but the P2V-7U was not discovered. Because it was excessively near, at that time the ground P-3 meter-wave radar was already unable to differentiate the target and Tu-2, as the two signals folded nearly in the same place. Therefore the ground control ordered the ground-to-air units to shoot blindly. The intense muzzle flash blinded the pilot, who was unable to see clearly and crashed into thee mountain. One P2V-7U caused two Tu-2 night fighter aircraf to crash, because the RG-5 radar performance was inadequate.

Anti-KMT Air Defense - Ground Radar-Guided Interceptors​

Mainland China's early AEW aircraft plans originated from the interception and combat of the Kuomintang Air force. Starting from March 1951, mainland China encountered a night airplane invasion from the American and Taiwan Kuomintang air forces. For two years before 1954 the activity invaded the mainland's airspace and moved nearly unimpeded. At that time mainland China's air defense system was in the initial period, the existing air defense had many blank areas, and did not have ability to prevent the Kuomintang's night flights from making harassing attacks. Even the day intercepts of the Kuomintang airplane's invasion was also a very difficult matter, since the PRC lacked the equipment for continental air command.

The interception is air defense combat's main style, but the success of intercept is mainly decided by early warning and direction. In not having early-warning aircraft, ground radar provides the early warning and the direction information most important. In the early years of the new nation the Republic had only a very few radars. The first batch of Soviet metric-wave medium range radars was received before 1950, and the Continental air command's ground-based radar used the American service pattern radars. These meter-wave radar's security guidance was a range of about 150 kilometers, with an error of position of approximately 2 kilometers. Battled several times Because the meter-wave radar position error is big, although it can guide the fighter aircraft to the target proximity, in the complex weather or at night, the fighter pilot is unable to use the naked eye.

By 1956 the People's Air Force was equipped wtih the Mig-15 and the Mig-17 day fighter aircraft, which had a main dependence on radar control, but carried on search and combat with the naked eye. This interception tactic is very difficult forthe pilot and such personnel were few, and before 1956 the night flight fighter pilots were scarce. This condition caused Taiwan Kuomintang airplane's invasion to go on repeatedly. In 1955, the People's Air Force set out 246 interception sorties against Taiwan airplanes, but only some 20 pilots discovered the targets, a few fired their guns, but none had any victory. These difficulties in combat caused the People's Air Force to diligently and unceasingly strengthen radar and electronic equipment, to change the disadvantageous situation.

In 1956, the mainland started to introduce from Soviet Union the P-20 three coordinate radar to equip the army. The P-20 radar has two antennas and has the PRV-11 height-finding radar's distant early warning radar system. An antenna is the S wave band, another antenna is the L wave band, and surveys the high-altitude target at distances to above 300 kilometers, the cover area is much bigger than earlier radars. The P-20 itself only provided the position and distance to the target, but the target was highly determined by the PRV-11 radar, with analog computation system.

This kind of radar had another very useful performance, the ability to access other external P-type displays. The display can be placed in the range of 40 km from the radar station, which makes the fighter command center at the airfield see the situation and direct the air battle, greatly improve the response speed. Because this kind of radar overcame the meter-wave radar big error shortcoming, when guiding the fighter aircraft to close with the target, often it can guide precisely to pilot's visual range. Simultaneously equips the people's air force with P-20 the radar also to have is loaded with radar's Mig-17 fighter aircraft. From 1956 to 1957, the people's air force depended upon the introduction of 23 sets of the P-20 radar, and the massive P-3 radars, constituted directly along Taiwan, and had the radar fence which jumped very greatly. Soon, the P-20 radar demonstrated good operational effect.

On the night of 22 June 1956 one of Taiwan's B-17 reconnaissance aircraft was intercepted by a Mig-17 day fighter aircraft when the armed force'ss P-20 radar guided successfully it to the visual range for the first time. Because Taiwan reconnaissance aircraft needed good visibility weather, these airplane's invasions were generally carried on the bright moonlit night, which was also advantageous to the people's air force's interceptions. On the 22 June night combat, because P-20 could the accurate determination of the B-17's accurately determine the heading, altitude and location, the Mig-17 pilot was able to discover under the moonlight B-17 outline at a range of 9 kilometers. Afterwards on 22 August in night operation, although is the gibbous moon, near the Shanghai Hongqiao Airport the P-20 similarly guided a Mig-17 day-fighter aircraft to the target within 800 meters. The Mig shot down the US military's P4M-1Q electronic intelligence aircraft, which formerly was impossible to achieve using the P-3 radar. In the same year on the night of 10 November, the P-20 radar at Hangzhou once more guided the day Mig-17 fighter aircraft to shoot down a Kuomintang's C-46 transport aircraft.

On the night of 13 March 1958 a Taiwan B-17G airplane was intercepted by a MiG-15bis fighter, a process carried out by the radio relay in Changsha, and 2 hours later, a Mig-17 fighter aircraft pursued B-17G, but it flew out from the coast too far, and in landing Leizhou Peninsula Airport, the MiG crashed due to poor weather. Hereafter they were not able to shoot down the Kuomintang intruder until May 1959.

The ground-based radar had all sorts of inconveniences, but was at that time the Chinese weak industrial foundation was not able to develop early-warning aircraft. The people's air force proposed to install an air search radar on a large aircraft, by no means an early-warning aircraft, but a kind of night operation's but only a night, long-endurance aircraft operations. Although the night air defense fighter obtained some successes, the battle command and flight are very complex.

The Kuomintang changed to the P2V-7U electronic intelligence aircraft after 1960, and the air defense combat situation was even more difficult to intercept. Because this kind of airplane has installed the ASP-20 acquisition radar as well as at that time the very advanced electronic reconnaissance system, depending upon the ground-based radar and the fighter aircraft was very difficult to carry on the interception.

J-5A / MiG-17PF Night Fighter​

The J-5A aircraft was based on the Soviet all-weather interceptor MiG-17PF. It differed from the basic J-5 by the addition of a radar, a bigger and longer forward fuselage section and relocation of systems and components in the fuselage. Fifty per cent of the parts in the J-5A were new.

Initially the mainland air command could only carry out night operation's with Mig-17 airplanes with radar. According to Soviet Union's operational control regulations, when under ground control, the fighter aircraft flies to the predetermined interception air zone, and the airplane's radar is not intended to intercept the target. After closing to a certain distance from the target, the pilot only then turns on the radar to carry on the search.

At that time the Mig-17 interceptor radar was the RG-5. The biggest difference with the installation of the RG-5 radar's on Mig-17 was the nose air inlet upper lip and the air intake middle partition board. The RG-5 radar's search antenna on the air intake upper lip and the acquisition radar cover caused the airplane to seem like the shark mouth, but in the air intake partition board had the circle distance-measuring radar antenna cap. When the ground radar control guided the fighter aircraft to within 10 kilometers of the target, the ground director would inform the pilot to turn on the radar scanner. The RG-5 radar's maximum search range was only 10 kilometers, and the distance-measuring radar's range for interception was only 4 kilometers. In the sunny daytime this kind of radar was less capable than the pilot's naked eye visual range, but at night and under adverse weather conditions it was actually very effective, particularly when there was no moon light.

When a jet aircraft intercepted a high-speed target, the ground director and the pilot coordinated to cause the fighter interceptor to turn on the radar as near as possible to the target, in order to avoid warning the target. When the acquisition radar surveyed the target, and came within 4 kilometers, the pilot switched to the targeting range finder, and opened fire about 700 meters into the direction from the light, pressed down the trigger to open fire to hit the target.

The western nation only then detected this kind of radar signal in 1953 off Norway in the nearby Barents Sea air zone, when the Soviet Union's Mig-17 fighter aircraft locked US's reconnaissance aircraft with this kind of radar, the RG-5 radar had a 2000 hertz repetitive pulse frequencies. In the American reconnaissance aircraft receiving device, the installed loudspeaker transformed into the devil bass-horn "... Woo ... oh ... oh ...". This kind of sound was the NATO reconnaissance aircraft pilot's nightmare. To the NATO flying crews in the 1950s Cold War nighttime sky, it meant that formidable missile and artillery firepower of the fighter aircraft was aimed nearby. In 1957 Taiwan Kuomintang and US's reconnaissance aircraft detected this kind of radar "singing in praise of the Buddha" off the Fujian coast. For some two months they reduced the mainland reconnaissance flights, but resumed the flights soon thereafter.

The American reconnaissance aircraft played a cat and mouse game with in the Soviet Air force fighter aircraft, and discovered the interception radar's problems. It was discovered early on that the RG-5 the radar a problem that below 1000 meters it cannot be used to detect the Japan-based P2V reconnaissance aircraft. In 1954 the implementation of night reconnaissance missions it was very easy to shake off the Soviet Soviet MiG-17 fighters by decreasing flight altitude. The reason is that the RG-5 the radar beam has a 14 degree angle of view. When the Mig-17 turns on the radar below an altitude of 1000 meters, the wave beam will illuminate the ground to form massive terrain feature clutter. The ground clutter submerged the signal. But this was the only kind of air-to-air interceptor the Continental air command could use.

J-5A prototype production was assigned to the Chengdu Aircraft Factory by the MAI in May, 1961. The Shenyang Aircraft Factory sent a professional team consisting of technical people in different disciplines to Chengdu to help with the J-5A prototype production, specifically production preparation, parts manufacturing, assembly and flight test. They also provided a set of master tooling and production tooling for the J-5. The assistance sped up prototype production. A complete set of drawings for production was completed by the Chengdu Aircraft Factory in September 1962, component manufacture started in March, 1963, and final assembly in June, 1964. The full size static test was completed in September of the same year.

The first flight of the J-5A prototype (02) took place on November 11, 1964 at Yanliang Xi'an. It flew for 30 minutes and all systems operated normally. All flight tests were completed by the end of November and the aircraft operational and tactical performance was approved. It was certificated for mass production by the Military Products Certification Commission in December. Prototype production took 3 years and 3 months.

The J-5A was put into mass production in 1965. The delivery of this all weather fighter provided the military services with a new weapon which could counter the enemy aggression at night.
 

Temistocle

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This is another page on Global Security about the AEW Tu-4 derivate, also connected to the Taiwan night intruders:

KongJing-1 (KJ-1)

The KongJing-1 (KJ-1) Airborne Early Warning [AEW] system placed a rotating radar on a Chinese copy of the Russian Tupolev Tu-4, itself a copy of the Boeing B-29 bomber. In the 1960s the difficulty of night air defense combat was manifest in ground-based radar command structure many problems. Especially the southeast coast province's mountainous area created a massive radar shadow, allowing Taiwan's airplanes to repeatedly frustrate night interception. The Continental air command needed to be able to cover the airspace with an early radar warning system.

In the autumn of 1969 the Great Cultural Revolution had stopped. On 26 September 1968 the Central Military Committee issued the instruction for the development of an AEW aircraft. On 25 November 1969, the Air force headquarters issued a notice that reassigned personnel to carry on the AEW aircraft development. At the same time, the air force party committee decided that re-equipping a Tu-4 airplane was the basis for an AEW aircraft, under project code number 926. The re-equipping work was to be carried on west of the Shanxi Xianyang's Wugong, at the 5702 Factory, which had related large-scale processing and the maintenance equipment.

At that time the Tu-4 was a good foundation for re-equipping, as for practical purposes there were at that time few other large aircraft available to the mainland. The choices were the Il-18, Tridents, Boeing 707, Viscount, Tu-104, Tu-4 and so on. These airplanes were British, Soviet or American products, and at that time Sino-Soviet and the Sino-US relations were in a nervous state, with spare parts guaranteed with difficulty. The British domestic product "Viscount" had already suspended production. But the mechanical condition was quite good to process the spares part for Tu-4, and therefore the use of the Tu-4 to make an early-warning aircraft platform was reasonable.

At the end of 1969, Xian Aircraft Design Institute (603 Institute) handled jointly with others to send out the personnel to set up the design staff. Lou Guo Yao was the technical person in charge, though in a later period Zhou Guangyao held the post. At that time requested national various units to need the material processing materialto give the green light completely allows to pass, only could lean coordinates not to with all one's strength inquire about.

Early warning aircraft carried a 7 meters diameter radar dome on the fuselage. The weight was increased by 5 tons, flight drag increasdd by 30%, and the original four engine power was insufficient. Therefore, it was decided re-equipp the plane with domestically manufacture turboprop engines. Because the forced-air cooling piston engine nacelle is small, it was not possible to install the turboprop in the piston engine compartment. The installation was done with precision, and only one month was needed to smoothly complete the work.

Although the engine compartment was re-equipped, the lengthened engine stretched out forward amounting to 2.3 meters, which affected airplane's stability and the maneuverability. Engineers solves this problem with enlarged stabilizer area, and in the stabilizer both sides addition terminal plate, simultaneously increasing the ventral fin and enlarging the dorsal fin to guarantee the stability. The stabilizer area was lengthened 2 meters, the chord direction lengthened 400 millimeters.

In order to install the radar and onboard systems, the airplane's original "Cobalt" radar and all turrets were demolished. The dome carried on the back of the plane was 7 meters in diameter with a thickness of 1.2 meters, made of glass fiber reinforced plastic. Because the prototype organism corresponding load-carrying structure has not been able to use in installing the radar to cover the support, the ordinary frame could not withstand the radar cover inflight stress, the the Tu-4 fuselages received a strengthed frame, and installed the radar bracket on this load-carrying structures.

The Tu-4 center-section's bomb bay and several sections were re-equipped with an airtight cabin for the radar operator and control personnel. An early warning aircraft main subsystem including electronic warning system, data processing system, data demonstration and control system, friend-or-foe identification, correspondence and data transmission system, guidance and homing system, electronic countermeasure system. The data transmitting equipment used a wireless teleprinter, air zone air situation display was mainly by chart board mapping. The performance of this early-warning aircraft was by no means a modern early-warning aircraft in the true sense. According to material which then already publicized, the early warning aircraft to low target's survey area is equal to 40 P-3 radar stations, this has the use value regarding the mainland air defense then.

In early-warning aircraft's manufacture history, Chinese's re-equipping was the fastest in the world. Started from December 1969, only one year and seven month elapsed until 10 June 1971, when the early warning aircraft started the initial test flight, and afterward entered the flight-test stage. In the tests, it was discovered that with the engine power enlarged, the propeller sidewash hit the vertical stabilizer. In the Tu-4 original installation the piston engines were dextro-rotating, but the turboprop were laevo-rotatories. The original design was accomodated completely to the dextrorotary aerodynamic moment, creating the airplane's right deviation. But China's technical personnel solved what looked like a very thorny question, and adjusted the accelerators to cause the thrust force to come together to compensate for this yawing moment.

Another the question which appeared in the test flight was actually not so simple. Because the radar dome's thickness is located in frontof the vertical stabilizer, the air flow has a separation which causes turbulent flow and produces vibration on the vertical stabilizer. This not only causes the flying crews to feel weary, it also causes the structure to be weary. Starting from September 1972, the design team began to remove the sources of vibration. The method adopted was to install hull shape cowling on the antenna frame, and install power on the vertical stabilizer to offset the vibration. Repeated tests proved that these methods were effective.

After the early warning aircraft re-equipment was completed, it carried on several hundred hour flight test. The high-altitude simulation goal is the H-6 bomber aircraft and marine low altitude targets by transport aircraft. Early warning aircraft can track the H-6 target to a range of 300~350 kilometers, and wavehopping transport aircraft at a range of 250 kilometers. Early warning aircraft also aimed at the marine ships to carry on the experiment, a survey large-scale submarine chaser was detected at a distance of 300 kilometers. Although at that time early warning aircraft used electron tube systems, including the command computer, but these ranges compared favorably with on the ranges of advanced early-warning aircraft in other countries. The backwardness in the radar-data processing and the information transmission link of the Chinese early warning aircraft, which lacked practical man-machine interfaces, compromised the manual plotting and the voice communication notification of air intelligence.

Before 1980, the Chinese Air Force mainly continued to use Soviet Union's equipment systems and the operational control patterns, with short-range ground radar control primarily. China's land area is very big, and so this needed many ground-based radars, the fighter aircraft and the airport, and divides the respective anti-aircraft air zone, this is also caused China ultimately to produce nearly 6000 J-5 and J-6 fighter aircraft. It was a great challenge to coordinate and dispatch so huge a quantity of fighter aircraft and distribute them to Air force bases. In addition there were nearly 100,000 anti-aircraft guns and several thousand anti-aircraft missile launchers, so the Continental air command was not an easy matter.

The Soviet Union's early-warning aircraft generally deployed 150 kilometers behind the security perimeter, nearby friendly fighter aircraft and ground defenses. This procedure can not only monitor the air zone effectively, it can also cause the early-warning aircraft to be under the protection of one's own anti-aircraft network. The early-warning aircraft warning range is far, and when the enemy fighter aircraft attempt to attack early-warning aircraft, they may retrocede promptly, and guide friendly fighter aircraft and the air defense ground environment to carriy on the interception.

In 1981 Syria attempted to use high speed Mig-25 fighters when attacked by Israel. The Israeli early-warning aircraft promptly guided fighter aircraft to the successful interception of Syria's Mig-25. The early-warning aircraft's superiority in detection range is considerable, and can be separated from the enemy'y ground-based radar by a considerable distance. The Syrian Mig-25 fighter aircraft needed ground control, and were unable to be under the ground panoramic air intelligence guidance. They therefore fell into the Israeli fighter aircraft's snare.

The China Air Force's early-warning aircraft also very possibly adopted this kind of tactic, but China's actual situation was different from that of Soviet Union and the US, lacking the long range fighter planes. China needed to guide large quantities of J-5 and J-6 fighters in combat. Even with the air defense ground environment coordination, the early-warning aircraft's command control would be complex. After 1970, mainland China's air defense would be as though it were "covered with thorn's hedgehog" - an invading enemy's airplane would encounter airborne and ground interception on unprecedentedly crowded scale.

After the early warning aircraft was developed successfully, it did not enter air force service. Since the 1970s, Taiwan Kuomintang airplane harassing attacks gradually subsided. The mainland's electronic net gradually improved, and covered the majority national territory.
 

Archibald

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Yeah, unfortunately Global Security has been giving me problems like that recently. The problem is that there are few other English language articles that I could find.

Hello ! Same issue for me too often. My solution: open the page in "cache" using Google; and if the damn thing still resists, then "open - text alone".
 

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