Y-8GX8 Spy Plane
The People’s Liberation Army Navy is making a strong pushing into electronic intelligence (ELINT) aerial platforms. The Y-8GX8 is the latest variant of the venerable Shaanxi Y-8 transport (itself a copy of the Soviet An-12 medium transport). The Y-8GX8 has high efficiency WJ-6C turboprop engines that extend its range to 5,700km, which would allow for a 7 hour patrol deep into the East and South China Seas. The ELINT collection capability is covered by two large gray antenna fairings on both sides of the fuselage, a large dome on the upper fuselage, and additional domes on the nose, underside and tail of the aircraft. It is certainly possible that the Y-8GX8 may incorporate design element from the American EP-3 Ares observed during the 2001 Hainan Incident.
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