China deployed its Airborne Early Warning and Control or AEW&C aircraft to patrol the East China Sea in the past few days.
AEW&C aircraft are essentially airborne radar platforms which can survey a designated area and identify air, marine and land targets. The aircraft will help in monitoring China’s recently declared Air Defense Identification Zone or ADIZ. Presently, there will be at least one aircraft available to patrol the ADIZ in all weather.
The plan in the future is for the AEW&C aircraft to be able to directly command an air combat group comprised of fighter jets, bombers and supply tankers. Military experts hope the force will be able to help China manage its ADIZ over the East China Sea more efficiently.
"The current all weather patrol represents that our air early warning force has matured its combat readiness, formed efficient real world battle ability. With its help, we will be able to identify and track air objects at our ADIZ, and determine the possible attempt and number of objects at a large scale. So that we will be able to respond and accordingly deploy our air combat forces at a short period." Military commentator Du Wenlong said.
Meanwhile, according to a recent announcement from the Ministry of Defense, China has identified 800 military aircraft from other countries and regions during the period from November the 23rd to December the 22nd last year. The ministry also said that the Chinese Air Force carried out 333 patrols over the East China Sea last year.