March 14, 2017 11:46
China has installed powerful radars with a detection range of 3,000 km so they can spy on South Korean and Japanese military maneuvers, Chinese media reported Monday.
The move comes amid a spat with Seoul over the stationing of a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery from the U.S. here whose powerful radar Beijing fears could be used to spy on its own military activities.
The reports said China installed an Over The Horizon or OTH radar in Inner Mongolia in January. Unlike conventional radar signals that pass through the atmosphere, OTH signals bounce off of the earth's ionosphere 100 to 450 km above the surface to detect targets 3,000 km away.
The THAAD radar as currently configured will only have a range of 800 km, though that can be adapted with a software switch.
The new Chinese radar points at Japan, making it capable of surveying the entire island nation and the Korean Peninsula, the reports said.
OTH radars are also effective in spotting stealth aircraft, and the U.S. Marine Corps' F-35B stealth fighters are based in Japan's Iwakuni. This is China's second OTH radar. The first was set up in the Hubei-Henan-Anhui triangle.
The two OTH radars enable China to monitor the entire western Pacific if used along with its spy satellites, the press reports said.
China also has other state-of-the-art radars in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang with a maximum range of 5,500 km, while operating S-400 anti-aircraft radars with a detection range of 700 km in Shandong Province overlooking the Korean Peninsula across the West Sea.
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