This large high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) UAV has been under development at 601 Institute/SAC as an "anti-stealth" AEW platform.
The UAV features a novel twin fuselage/twin vertical tailfin design with the straight main wing extending across the rear fuselage. It also has a small wing structure connecting the forward sections of twin fuselages. A SATCOM antenna is expected to be installed inside one of the head bulges.
The UAV is thought to be powered by a turbofan engine (WS-11?) located above the main wing and between the two vertical tainfins. As an AEW platform Divine Eagle is expected to have multiple conformal radar antennas installed on the forward fuselages facing different directions.
The VHF meter wave radar is capable of detecting stealth aircraft at a relatively long range but suffers from a lower accuracy. Therefore several Divine Eagles may typically fly in a group formation ahead while bei
ng controlled via datalink by the AWACS flying behind in a safe distance or by the ground station protected by the air defense unit. Together they act as an airborne multistatic radar system and are able to pick up the radar reflection signals of the same stealth aircraft from multiple directions.
As the result the UAV can extend both the detecting range and accuracy of the AWACS against stealth aircraft. The design of Divine Eagle appear to share some similarity with the Russian Sukhoi S-62 concept which first appeared around 2000. It was reported that Russian assistance was sought during the initial development stage.
A technology demonstrator was built by the spring 2015. Some specifications (estimated): height 6m, length 14m, wingspan 35m, endurance >10hr, ceiling 18km.
If successfully entering the service, Divine Eagle would become the first airborne anti-stealth radar system in the world and could be used to counter American F-22s, F-35s and B-2s.
Divine Eagle. Enormous Stealth Hunting Drone, Takes Shape
While the Divine Eagle reportedly first flew in February 2015, filtered photos of the UAV have only now emerged on the Chinese Internet (filtering photos to blur visual details is one way Chinese Internet denizens avoid censorship). The timing is notable. Coming shorty after the release of the first Chinese defense White Paper calling for Chinese military expeditionary capabilities and high profile Sino-Russian naval exercises, the Divine Eagle is a visual announcement that China's building unique technologies that could change the brewing arms race in the Asia Pacific.
Milint via cjdby.net
Compared to original design concepts, the Divine Eagle prototype has less stealthy features, such as conventional vertical stabilizers (upright tailfins), and an unshielded engine intake located in between the tailfins.
Hongjian and henri K
The 7 radars include a X/UHF AMTI Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar on the front, two X/UHF AMTI/SAR/GMTI AESA radars on the twin booms, two X/UHF AMTI AESA radars on either side of the engine nozzles, and two more radars on the end of the booms. AMTI and GMTI radars are used for tracking air and surface targets, respectively, while SAR is used to provide detailed imagines of ground targets like bases and infrastructure.
Divine Eagle Hunts
Hongjian via China Defense Forum
The offensive applications of the Divine Eagle are demonstrated here, as two Divine Eagles mark out not just the enemy aircraft carrier, but also its escorting warships and aviation wing, while vectoring friendly aircraft and ships into combat. One presumes that the Divine Eagle would also be able to find targets for the infamous DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile.
The JY-26 "Skywatch" AESA Radar, operates in the long wave band to detect stealth aircraft, which are often optimized against detection by shorter wavelenghts. The JY-26 is claimed to have a range of 500km and Chinese media claimed it detected F-22 Raptor fighters off the South Korean coast in mid 2014. The Divine Eagle is likely to have similar radar technology to detect stealth bomber and fighters at long range.