Y-8Q in Color. www.top81.cn
The Y-8Q joins the mile-high sub-hunting club.
The Chinese Naval Air Force gets its first operational Y-8Q heavy submarine hunting aircraft, after several years of flight testing. Painted in the standard PLANAF grey as opposed to the bright yellow primer seen on the pair of prototypes, the Y-8Q will likely show up all around East Asian waters after the Chinese flight crews learn how to fully exploit the limits of their new technology.
The Y-8Q is designed to overcome Chinese ASW deficiencies that would cripple Chinese naval and civilian maritime activity in war. Some of its technology, at least on the surface, compares favorably to the U.S. P-3C Orion and P-8 Poseidon, and the Japanese P-1. The Y-8Q's most distinctive feature is its seven-meter-long Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD) boom, which detects the magnetic signature of enemy submarines' metal hulls as the Y-8Q flies over them. Since MAD performance correlates to size, and it's seven-meter MAD boom is arguably the largest of its kind among airplanes, the PLAN would have a fine weapon for hunting otherwise stealthy submarines.
Y-8Q MAD. escobar via Sinodefense Forum
The Y-8Q's MAD boom on its tail is possibly the largest one mounted on an aircraft. The MAD is located on a boom in order to minimize electromagnetic interference from the Y-8Q itself, as the MAD detects any magnetic signatures from the metallic hulls of submarines lurking beneath the waves.
Y-8Q Packing. escobar via Sinodefense Forum
This photo gives us a good view of the Y-8Q's sensors, including the electro-optical turret (the white sphere forward of the bomb bays, similar in size and function to the one found on the Reaper drone), and the gray radome under the cockpit.
SQ-5 Sonobuoys. Chinese Military Aviation
The Y-8Q can carry at least a hundred sonobuoys to provide blanket sensor coverage over a patch of ocean the size of Rhode Island. Other Chinese ASW platforms, like the Z-18 helicopter, also carry these sonobuoys.
Haiyan UUV. China News
The Haiyan UUV is an underwater glider, which can dive under 1,500m below the ocean surface, for up to 30 days. These 70kg drones (or future militarized versions) could be deployed enmass by Y-8Qs to provide a quick but long-term sensor solution, in areas like the Taiwan Straits, against enemy submarines during war time.
ASW Attack Missile. Navy Recognition
This long range anti-submarine rocket is a proposal by Poly Technologies, a Chinese industrial conglomerate, that was first unveiled in September 2014 at a South African arms show. The ASW rocket uses a heavy WS series artillery rocket to fire a light torpedo (possibly a 500kg Yu-7) over 100 km away at enemy submarines that have been detected by a sensor network. A Y-8Q could act as a command center for Chinese UUVs and long range anti-submarine rockets to effectively deny large areas of water to enemy submarines without placing Chinese submarines or warships in danger.
It's Also Great with Kids!. Andreas Rupprecht, from cgyx.com
The first Y-8Q, "731", also pulled duty as a babysitter for these Chinese toddlers during art class. While it would be highly unusual in either China or the USA to allow civilians such close access to a sensitive military prototype, its rather unlikely that these preschoolers would expose defense secrets with Crayon and paper.