Type 346 Chinese Radar

This is a sample record of the 346 type radar, from our major dynamic report about radar systems deployed in China. The Chinese Radar Report is available now in .pdf format or CDROM. At over 600 pages it is the only work of its type and deals with all aspects of radar and their development in China over the last 30 years.

The following Type 346 sample text and images are taken from the Report and give an example of its format and content.

Type 346 Shipborne 3D Plate Array Radar

Common Designation: Type 346

Caption: Starboard Forward Plate Array on Chinese Navy frigate Type 052C FFG 170 Lanzhou. (www.stormpages.com)

PLA Desig:H/LJG346
NATO Desig: --
Export Desig: --
Other Desigs:SAPARS, Dragon’s Eye,
Supplier: NRIET 14th Institute
RF (Mhz)(F/G- Band)
PRF (pps) --
PRI (µsecs) --
PD (µsecs) -- 
ST Electronically scanned phased array
SP (sec / Hz) --

The true identity of this new, reportedly F/G-Band, shipborne 3D phased array system is understood to be H/LJG346. This is based on a report about the Sixth Young Scientist Award, which cited this new phased array radar. The report also stated that it is an active phased array system similar in design to the USN’s AEGIS system.

There is conjecture as to the origin of this system. Is it wholly the work of an original Chinese research and development institute or does it contain elements of imported systems?

There is a belief that the system might contain elements from existing systems in the Chinese military inventory, but knowing how Chinese R&D has developed over the last 10 years, it may be a completely new development capturing the very best of knowledge, components, packaging and software techniques currently available not only in China but globally.

There is specific belief that some of the technology may be derived from the Ukrainian ISKRA company’s IL-220U that employs the 1L259M 3D monopulse emitter used in the land mobile ZOO PARK-2 weapon location system, but so far this has been refuted by the Ukrainians.

The Type 346 (originally believed to be Type 382) has also been referred to as the Shipborne Active Phased Array Radar System (SAPARS) and is installed on two Type 052C FFG Luyang II hulls, LANZHOU (170) and HAIKOU (171).

To date no parametric detail is known to have been overtly reported but if it does sport the 1L220-U front end, then it operates within NATO F-Band (3 ~ 4 GHz) and operating with the sub-band 3.0 ~ 3.4 GHz would accord with current ITU regulations although some sources suggest it might function in G-band (5,250 ~ 5,950 MHz), which has been favoured by the Chinese in a number of systems.

The following picture of the phased array on DDG-170 has been recovered from a Chinese chat site.

Caption: close up of the phased array antenna on board Luyang II Type 052C DDG-170 Port aft . (www.centurychina.com/plaboard/posts/3702221.shtml).

The main array appears to comprise a matrix of 19 x 19 (361), plus 4 x 5 (20) giving a total of 381 elements or modules per array for an estimated system total of 1,524 modules on the assumption that each rectangle is an active Tx/Rx element.

Caption: Luyang II Type 052C DDG-170 Port aft phased array antenna. (www.centurychina.com/plaboard/posts/3702221.shtml).

During trials a military representative, Shen Xiaodong, reportedly found the radar target data update rate to be very (s)low, (and) he (said there) was still room for improvement1.(www.dragonwake.net/bbs/viewthread. php?action=printable&tid=10871).

The related Combat Management System (CMS) for this AEGIS-like solution is designated H/ZBJ1.2 (www.mil.jschina.com.cn/Get/NAVY/07081140203.htm).

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