Chinese armed drones now flying across Mideast battlefields

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FILE – In this Oct. 10, 2015, file photo, Iraqi Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi, center, inspects a first Chinese drone to be used by the Iraqi Air Force before sending it to bomb Islamic State group positions at an airbase in Kut, 160 kilometers (100 miles) southeast of Baghdad, Iraq. Across the Middle East, countries locked out of purchasing U.S.-made drones due to rules over excessive civilian casualties are being wooed by Chinese arms dealers, who are world’s main distributor of armed drones. The sales are helping expand Chinese influence across a region crucial to American security interests and bolstering Beijing’s ambitions of being a world leader in high-tech arms sales. (AP Photo, File)

 

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — High above Yemen’s rebel-held city of Hodeida, a drone controlled by Emirati forces hovered as an SUV carrying a top Shiite Houthi rebel official turned onto a small street and stopped, waiting for another vehicle in its convoy to catch up.

Seconds later, the SUV exploded in flames, killing Saleh al-Samad, a top political figure.

The drone that fired that missile in April was not one of the many American aircraft that have been buzzing across the skies of Yemen, Iraq and Afghanistan since Sept. 11, 2001. It was Chinese. Continue reading

Beijing on alert for U.S. Navy ‘incursion’ near artificial islands in South China Sea

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China had long made clear its position on the South China Sea.

“We hope the United States can look upon the current situation of the South China Sea from an objective and fair perspective and play a constructive role together with China in keeping the peace and stability in the South China Sea,” Hua said.

Continue reading

Shen Diao drone could track and guide missiles to US warships

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The Shen Diao unmanned aerial vehicle. (Internet photo)

 

Shen Diao, China’s new unmanned aerial vehicle also known as the Divine Eagle, could be used to track the location of US aircraft carriers in the Western Pacific and guide DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missiles to their target, according to overseas Chinese news outlet Duowei News. Continue reading

China Shows Off Holographic Ground Control System for Drones

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AVIC, China’s top aerospace manufacturer, is finding unexpected but sci-fi inspired ways to push the drone technological envelope. The Holographic Ground Control System (GCS) displays a holographic image of the drone, making it easier for the controller to intitutively understand UAV operations, by fusing together flight parameters, payload monitoring, weapons release and sensor data. The pilot is seated at the cockpit, while other personnel can observe the UAV and its environment on the hologram. Continue reading

China successfully develops drone defense system: Xinhua

BEIJING (Reuters) – China has successfully tested a self-developed laser defense system against small-scale low-altitude drones, state media said on Sunday.

The laser defense system is capable of shooting down small aircraft within a two-km (1.2-mile) radius and can do so within five seconds of locating its target, the official Xinhua news agency said, quoting a statement by the China Academy of Engineering Physics. Continue reading

China to be UAV market leader in 10 years: Russian report

China will become the world’s largest manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles within the next decade, according to a report from Russia’s Military-Industrial Courier.

Citing industry analysts, the report also said Chinese arms dealers will account for about half the world’s UAV market by that time as well. Continue reading

Inside the Ring: B-2 bombers’ ‘messages’

Three B-2 strategic nuclear bombers completed a tour of duty in Guam this week, as tensions remained high between the United States and China over what the Pentagon called a “dangerous” Chinese fighter-jet intercept of a U.S. surveillance plane last week.

Adm. Haney said in a statement that the bombers are intended to send a message to allies and adversaries.

“It is important for U.S. Strategic Command to continue to project global strike capabilities and extended deterrence against potential adversaries while providing assurance to our allies through deployments such as this,” he said. Continue reading

Japan to shoot down foreign drones that invade its airspace

The Defense Ministry has drafted plans for the Self-Defense Forces to shoot down foreign drones that intrude into Japan’s airspace if warnings to leave are ignored, a source close to the government revealed Sunday.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe issued his approval when Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera briefed him on the plan Oct. 11, the source said. Continue reading

Japan will shoot down PLA drones if necessary: defense ministry

The Japanese defense ministry said on Sept. 17 that Chinese unmanned aerial vehicles found flying over the disputed Diaoyutai (Diaoyu or Senkaku) islands in the East China Sea will be shot down by the country’s Self-Defense Forces, reports the Tokyo-based Nippon Hoso Kyokai. Continue reading

Game of Drones — China stepping up drone deployment

China’s military is expanding its unmanned aerial vehicle forces with a new Predator-like armed drone and a new unmanned combat aircraft amid growing tensions with neighbors in Asia, according to U.S. intelligence officials.

New unarmed drone deployments include the recent stationing of reconnaissance and ocean surveillance drones in Northeast Asia near Japan and the Senkaku islands and along China’s southern coast. Drones also are planned for the South China Sea where China has been encroaching on international waters and bullying nations of that region in asserting control over international waters, said officials familiar with intelligence reports. Continue reading

China’s Drone Swarms Rise to Challenge US Power

Being that China produces and controls more than 95% of the world’s rare earth materials, it’s not unthinkable that they would be able to crank out thousands of drones.

China is building one of the world’s largest drone fleets aimed at expanding its military reach in the Pacific and swarming U.S. Navy carriers in the unlikely event of a war, according to a new report.

The Chinese military — known as the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) — envisions its drone swarms scouting out battlefields, guiding missile strikes and overwhelming opponents through sheer numbers. China’s military-industrial complex has created a wide array of homegrown drones to accomplish those goals over the past decade, according to the report released by the Project 2049 Institute on March 11.

“The PLA now fields one of the world’s most expansive UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] fleets,” said Ian Easton and L.C. Russell Hsiao, researchers at the Project 2049 Institute and authors of the new report. Continue reading

Here Come…China’s Drones

China is developing its own drone technology — for its own military and for sale around the world.

Unmanned systems have become the legal and ethical problem child of the global defense industry and the governments they supply, rewriting the rules of military engagement in ways that many find disturbing. And this sense of unease about where we’re headed is hardly unfamiliar. Much like the emergence of drone technology, the rise of China and its reshaping of the geopolitical landscape has stirred up a sometimes understandable, sometimes irrational, fear of the unknown. Continue reading

Growth in China’s Drone Program Called ‘Alarming’

HONG KONG — At China’s biennial air show in Zhuhai this month, an imposing fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles was on display — drones bearing a striking resemblance to the American aircraft that have proved so deadly in attacks on insurgents in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Israel, Britain and the United States have pretty much had a corner on the global drone market, but the recent Chinese air show and a Pentagon report have exploded that notion.

“In a worrisome trend, China has ramped up research in recent years faster than any other country,” said the unclassified analysis published in July by the Defense Science Board. “It displayed its first unmanned system model at the Zhuhai air show five years ago, and now every major manufacturer for the Chinese military has a research center devoted to unmanned systems.”

The report, which said “the military significance of China’s move into unmanned systems is alarming,” suggested that China could “easily match or outpace U.S. spending on unmanned systems, rapidly close the technology gaps and become a formidable global competitor in unmanned systems.Continue reading