AWACS KJ-500 has the high level of modernization than KJ-200, achieved a full glass cockpit, a liquid crystal display a large area. The crew is five, namely, the driver, copilot, air mechanic, navigator, messenger. In fact, with the improvement of the modernization level, only two people who are driving together operate the aircraft.
However, the mode of operation of the aircraft is still the steering wheel operation, and there is no advanced telex operating system, and further improvements in space are limited.
From abroad similar models, the internal core cabin should be a number of vertical layout of the integrated display console, all types of operators at least more than ten, and its advanced level is the world's leading level. KJ-500 is currently the best performance of China air equipment, the highest price of the AWACS, the performance of active phased array radar equipment more than KJ-2000 radar.
KJ-500 aircraft platform still using Y-9 transport aircraft plane. The maximum takeoff weight of 77 tons, with 4 turboprop engines, a cruising speed of 550 km/hour, due to the installation of a radar system, the flight speed of the resistance increases, some of the decline, but this is not a fatal flaw for early warning machine.
For the carrier platform, the most important is the endurance time, the longer the natural time is the better. The load of Y-9 volume reached more than 20 tons, a range of 5000 kilometers or more, so its life time is expected to more than 10 hours longer than about KJ-2000.
However, if the aircraft can be replaced with jet transport aircraft, especially jet aircraft, the comprehensive performance of the warning aircraft will be significantly improved. At the same time, disk type active phased array radar cover can provide 360 degree corner detection coverage, but the large radar is located in the fuselage above the cover of air resistance is very large, the flight performance of the aircraft and flight safety will have a great impact. Therefore, the future development direction of AWACS is the use of conformal phased array radar radome and fuselage.
Y-9 on the KJ-200 AWACS