Saturday, November 8, 2008

Airshow China: Chinese companies unveil latest UAV designs

From Jane's.

Airshow China: Chinese companies unveil latest UAV designs

The full extent of Chinese unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) development has been revealed for the first time at Airshow China, where more than a dozen aircraft have been unveiled by a string of state-run defence companies.

The wide range of UAV and unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) designs on show at the 4-9 November event in Zhuhai - some at the concept stage, some still in testing and others entering production - also demonstrated the culture of intense competition that exists between the various elements of China's military-industrial complex in the UAV sphere, not to mention the wealth of options open to the People's Liberation Army (PLA) when it comes to placing orders.

The number of UCAV designs further showed the progress being made by the Chinese military towards achieving its goal of being able to conduct 'informationised' warfare.

Among the new aircraft on display was the CH-3 medium-range, long-endurance UCAV developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). A CASC spokesman told Jane's that the CH-3 had completed testing and was now entering production (a CASC film confirmed the aircraft was already flying, although without a payload).

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