KJ-500A spotted with an IFR probe

This unpainted heavily modified KJ-500A with a fixed IFR probe is the first image seen in the West of the modified airborne early warning and control aircraft.
Chinese internet

China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force and People’s Liberation Army Naval Air Force are steadily expanding their airborne early warning and control aircraft fleets. Between five and eight Kongjing KJ-500 variants (themselves developments of the Y-8 licence-built version of the An-12 turboprop-powered transport) are operational with each air arm and production continues at a high rate. A recent picture of an unpainted example on a flight test shows the heavily modified transport fitted with a fixed in-flight refuelling probe mounted above the cockpit, the first sighting of this forcemultiplying enhancement of the long-range aircraft Another recent image of a KJ-500H wearing the serial 81033 indicates the planned reestablishment of the 3rd Naval Air Division as an airborne early warning unit is going ahead.

Andreas Rupprecht