HongDian-5 Electronic Warfare Aircraft
The HD-5 (Hongzha Dianzi-5, or HongDian-5) is the electronic warfare (EW) variant of the Harbin Hong-5 light jet bomber, a Chinese licensed copy of the Soviet IL-28 (NATo codename; Beagle). The PLA Air Force (PLAAF) converted a small number of its H-5 bombers in the 1980s for electronic warfare and countermeasures (EW/ECM) roles. The aircraft is similar to the US Navy EA-6B Prowler in its missions and operation profile, though its technology is likely to be generations behind the latter. The aircraft has its original twin-23mm tail cannon turret removed to make room for the EW/ECM suite. The three-man crew includes a pilot, a navigator and an electronic equipment operator.
The EW/ECM suite onboard the HD-5, which is reportedly based purely on analogue technology, can intercept, identify and jam hostile land-based or shipborne radar emitters. The HD-5 usually operates in group of three to cover all spectrum of frequency. Despite its ageing technology, the powerful jammer onboard the aircraft is said to be very effective. One example was interfering of civilian frequencies far beyond the exercise zone during an exercise in 1997. The obsolete HD-5 is being replaced by the more capable EW/ELINT aircraft based on the Y-8 airframe.
Dimensions: Wingspan 21.45m; Length 16.768m; Height 6.20m
Powerplant: Two Wopen-5 turbojets, each rated at 2,700kg
Weight: Normal take-off 18,400kg; Max take-off 21,200kg; Max payload 3,000kg
Max speed: 900km/h
Range: Ferry range 2,400km
Service ceiling: 12,500m
Last update: 20 March 2009