Type 348 Radar

Type 348 Radar

The Type 346 radar is a new APAR-style active phased array radar, used on the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy's latest Lanzhou-class Destroyer (052C). The radar is used in conjunction with the HQ-9 SAM to provide long-range air defense capability, a first for the Chinese Navy.


The Type 346 is a fixed multifunctional active phased array radar system deployed on Type 052C Lanzhou-class. The system was originally discovered on AGE 970 which was functioning as a test ship much like the USS Norton Sound (AVM-1) during the testing of the original RCA AN/SPY-1 radar.

Contrary to the erroneous claims outside China that this radar is based on the Ukraine's Kvant-Radiolokatsiya's (State Research Institute on Radar Systems) newly developed naval phased array system, this radar is completely indigenous. The Ukrainian enterprise openly admitted that its active phased array radar was not purchased by China for evaluation until 2004, the year Lanzhou, a Luyang II class destroyer was commissioned, long after the domestic systems has already been installed.

According to the Chinese official information released at various defense and electronics / radar exhibitions held in China, the Research Institute of Electronic Technology (more commonly known as the 14th Institute) at Nanjing is the developer of the system, and the radar is a direct successor to Type H/LJG-346 SAPARS (Shipborne Active Phased Array Radar System) that was completed in 1997, which was also completely indigenous and designed by the same institute. For its success, the general designer of the radar, Mr. Zhou Wanxing (周万幸) was recommended by the Chinese Institute of Electronics in 1998 as a candidate for the Sixth Annual Outstanding Scientific and Technological awards. In 1997, the same year Type H/LJG-346 SAPARS had successfully completed its development, Mr. Zhou Wanxing (周万幸) was immediately named as the general designer of Type 346 radar, the new naval active phased array radar designated Type H/LJK-346. After working on the project for a while, Mr. Zhou Wanxing (周万幸) was also named as the project manager, eventually promoted as the deputy director of the Research Institute of Electronic Technology (more commonly known as the 14th Institute) at Nanjing due to the achievement of Type 346 radar. The domestic Chinese radar is larger than the similar Ukrainian radar, and the development of a smaller system for smaller ships was not ready yet, so a Ukrainian radar was purchased for evaluation and comparison for the possible adoption on smaller ships. However, just like the American had concluded during its development of AN/SPY-1, Chinese discovered that the longer range of the phased array radar is far more crucial than higher accuracyFact|date=February 2007.

As a result, the C-band (NATO G-band) Ukrainian radar was rejected despite having higher accuracy. However Ukrainian expertise was utilized in integrating the anti-stealth radar and ESM with the domestic phased array.

However, the Chinese phased array radar differs considerably from the American AN/SPY-1 in that instead of having separate dedicated transmitting and receiving elements, each element of the antenna array of the Chinese radar is capable of both transmitting and receiving, a function similar to the SAMPSON active phased array radar, and just like the SAMPSON system, each transmitting/receiving module of Type 346 radar has separate transmitter and receiver, thus enabling it to continuously receive signals. The radar has designation of H/LJG-346. Its operational frequency band is not yet known to have been published. According to Chinese sources, the biggest difficulty Chinese faced in the early 2000's was to reduce the unit cost of the indigenously produced MMIC used for the radar, because the Chinese MMIC cost is 25 times of its American counterparts, around $ 12,500 in comparison to the $ 500 of American MMIC.

Mode of Operation

The Type 346 system as installed on the Type 052C Luyang II Class. Its modes of operation have not been announced.


Very little is revealed about the radar, and according to the very limited Chinese official information publicized (such as during various defense / electronics and radar exhibitions held in China), only the following are known:
*Maxmimum range: 450 km
*Maxmimum resolution: 0.5 meter
*Primary band of operation: S-band
*Integrated circuitry: GaAs MMIC

ee also

* Type 052C Lanzhou-class


* [http://www.strategycenter.net/research/pubID.63/pub_detail.asp Chinese Notes from AeroIndia and IDEX February 2005]
* [http://navy-matters.beedall.com/sampson.htm A description of the S-band SAMPSON active phased array]
* [http://www.cea.com.au/products/cwi/ceamount.html CEAMOUNT continuous illumination tracking radar]

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