Beijing is heavily investing into the development of longer-range UAVs.
Last week, new pictures emerged on Chinese websites of the Project 973 or Shen Diao (“Divine Eagle”) prototype, perhaps the world’s largest twin fuselage drone – and a new formidable long-range strike weapon in the arsenal of the People’s Liberation Army.
Judging from the images, the Divine Eagle prototype appears to be larger than the U.S Air Force’s Global Hawk long-range surveillance drone and consequently could be equipped to “carry large missiles for satellite launching, anti-satellite and anti-ship missions,” elaborates the Washington Free Beacon.
The article also quotes, Rick Fisher, an expert on Chinese military capabilities, who states that “China’s construction of large long-range Global Hawk-sized unmanned aircraft will greatly assist its goal of consolidating control over the western Pacific (…)These large UAVs will act as persistent satellites able to target missiles and other tactical platforms well beyond the first island chain.”
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