Chinese intelligence-gathering GX-8 ELINT aircraft probe Japanese airspace. Japan’s Ministry of Defense has released a photo of a new type of Chinese intelligence-gathering aircraft that its fighters intercepted in international airspace over the East China Sea on 15 February.

Known as the GX-8 (GaoXin, literally High New, the name assigned to China’s Y-9 special missions aircraft), the aircraft is based on the Shaanxi Y-9 transport.

The GX-8 is believed to be an electronic intelligence (ELINT) gathering platform, mounting four distinctive elongated antennas on its fuselage. It also carries a prominent nose radar and SATCOM dome. At least three GX-8s are known to be in service with the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) North Sea Fleet’s 2nd Air Division.