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China Tests Unmanned STEALTH Drone ‘Sharp Sword’

Posted: November 23rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: China, Fly Your Kite | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on China Tests Unmanned STEALTH Drone ‘Sharp Sword’

China Tests Unmanned STEALTH Drone 'Sharp Sword'China’s first stealth combat drone has reportedly made a successful maiden flight, with state media hailing the move as evidence Beijing is closing the gap with major Western powers, the drone is the nations third unmanned weapon.

The test flight of the “Sharp Sword” unmanned aircraft is another step in China’s years-long military build-up, with its defence spending now the second highest in the world and growing by double-digit percentages each year.

This latest weapon from the worlds most populated nation is thought to be based on a Skunk Works – Lockheed Martin – Concept, the UCLASS – Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike – drone ::::

Did China copy based the Skunk Works concept, UCLASS – above – strike drone?

“The successful flight shows the nation has again narrowed the air-power disparity between itself and Western nations,” the China Daily newspaper said. It said Thursday’s test flight made China the “fourth power” capable of putting a stealth drone into the sky, after the US, European Union and Britain.

The flight “implies that China has made the leap from drones to combat drones”, it said, calling it the move of “major significance”.

China's First Test Unmanned STEALTH Drone 'Sharp Sword'

Images posted online showed a sleek grey delta-wing aircraft apparently powered by a jet engine and resembling an American combat drone.

State media widely reported the new aircraft in close detail, although they said the test-flight was first revealed by ordinary Internet users on a popular military web forum cjdby.net.

China is steadily building its military muscle and unveiled its first stealth fighter, the J-20, in early 2011, though it is not expected to to enter service until 2018.

Beijing’s first aircraft carrier – a refurbished vessel purchased from Ukraine and named the Liaoning – went into service in September 2012 but is not expected to be fully operational for several years.

Experts Warn of China’s Potent Power

China’s drone program is now more than 50 years old, it began with a copy of the Soviet Lavochkin LA-17C in the late 1950s. China’s drone squadron currently numbers around 300 units, and while this isn’t an arms race, there are fears that the increasing number of UAVs might disrupt the power balance within South-East Asia.

A drone was at the centre of a recent spat between Beijing and Tokyo, whose dispute over islands known as Diaoyu in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese has raised concerns of conflict.

An unidentified unmanned aircraft flew near the islands in September, where China routinely conducts maritime patrols, prompting Japan to scramble fighter jets. The aircraft came from the northwest and returned in that direction, a Japanese defence official said. Tokyo later threatened to shoot down any such aircraft, a move that Beijing warned would amount to an “act of war”.

Japan has threatened to “shoot down” drones that cross into it’s airspace.

A report into China’s UAV project by US based Project 2049 Institute says that the Chinese government is ‘investing considerable resources into UAV capabilities,” in order to modernise the nations military. The report says that China is on an accelerated expansion to play catchup with the west on technology based weapons like UAVs.

The report warns that if a conflict arose between China and japan, the US would face a formidable challenge from Chinese drones. “The Chinese military have developed one of the largest, most complex UAV programs in the world.” the report says.

Project 2048: PLA’s UAV Project.pdf

Left: Made in USA / Right: Copied in China

Playing catchup with the west, China has been steadily copying technology for more than half a century, it’s surely close to on-par?

More on Google Docs

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Wiki: Chengdu J-20 F-22 Raptor Replica

Wiki: Chengdu J-20 F-22 Raptor Replica

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Wiki: Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor

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source: cctv
source: chinadaily
source: skunkworks
source: ifeng
source: afp
source: project2049

image source: afp
image source: chinadaily
image source: ifeng
video source: youtube/skunkworks


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