Drone Part 3

China’s CH-5 Drone Ready For Mass Production Following Successful Trial Flight

July 16, 2017

  • The export version of China’s CH-5 drone, considered a competitor to the US-made MQ-9 Reaper, completed its trial flight Saturday making it ready for mass production and international sales. Having a wingspan of 21 meters, the CH-5 can stay in the air for 60 hours and has a maximum operational ceiling of 10,000 meters. The drone’s 1-metric-ton payload capacity enables it to accommodate up to 24 air-to-ground missiles on a single mission. Its payload options include an airborne early warning system to act as a platform for surveillance and battlefield command and control. It also can carry electronic warfare instruments to collect electronic intelligence and to jam enemy communications or radar. The versatile drone’s other applications are in anti-submarine operations.


China to test underwater gliders, submersible in latest expedition


  • Chinese scientists will begin testing the country’s self-developed underwater gliders and autonomous unmanned submersible in yet another maritime scientific expedition. The equipment — 12 gliders, one submersible, and a Raman spectrometer — was loaded on the research vessel “Kexue” (Science), which left Qingdao in east Shandong Province Monday.


China launches unmanned lifeguard speedboat


  • In China, lifeguards might soon join a growing list of professionals who will be replaced by robots or at least working with them on their jobs. The Institute of Intelligent Machines under the Chinese Academy of Sciences announced this week that it has launched the country’s first unmanned speedboat to save people from drowning. The speedboat is equipped with cameras and infrared sensors to detect “moving targets” in the water, said Yu Yangdao, who led the craft’s development. Once a swimmer crosses the danger line, the speedboat will locate him/her, calculate the risk of drowning, and send a signal to the command center. The rescue team will then be alerted to take action.


Swarms at War: Chinese Advances in Swarm Intelligence

July 6, 2017

  • The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) anticipates that future warfare will be “unmanned, invisible, and silent” (“无人、无形、无声”战争), with ever higher degrees of “intelligentization” (智能化). [1] PLA strategists expect that future, autonomous combat involving unmanned systems, as well as the joint operations of unmanned and manned systems, will have a dramatic impact on traditional operational models (PLA Daily, January 5, 2016). Future UAV swarming (无人机集群) will involve “intelligentized” and semi- or fully autonomous systems. [2] The PLA recognizes the disruptive potential of these techniques, which could be used for saturation assaults (饱和攻击) to overwhelm the defenses of high-value targets, including perhaps U.S. fighter jets or aircraft carriers (Science and Technology Daily, March 29; China News Network, November 2, 2016; China Military Online, December 31, 2016).


Chinese defence firm claims drone formation world record

11 June, 2017

  • China Electronics Technology Group Corporation said it has flown 119 fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicles simultaneously, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported. The Chinese drone maker Ehang sent a squadron of 1,000 drones into the air earlier this year, state media reported, but they were powered by rotary wing technology.


China’s Largest Solar-Powered Drone will Target US Navy Warships

Jun 07, 2017

  • China’s largest and heretofore secret unmanned solar-powered drone — identified as the Caihong-T4 (CH-T4) — recently set the Chinese record for the highest altitude reached by an aircraft of this type. At an altitude of 20,000 meters, CH-T4 will fly above almost all cloud cover and gain almost unlimited access to sunlight during its operations. The drone will derive power from its onboard batteries in the evening. From this operating altitude, the CH-T4 can maintain line-of-sight contact with over one million square kilometers of ground and water, an area about the size of Egypt, said CAAA.


Chinese Online Retailer JD.com Is Developing Heavy-Duty Delivery Drones

May 22, 2017

  • China’s Shaanxi province is famous for being the start of the Silk Road, an ancient trade network where silk and spices were transported by camel across the Asian continent. JD, China’s No. 2 e-commerce company after Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., in 2016 started delivering small packages via drone as a way to bring online orders to shoppers in remote rural villages. Its fleet of about 30 drones have already been bringing shipments to customers in the remote areas of Beijing, and in Sichuan, Jiangsu, Shaanxi and Guizhou provinces, which are home to more than 230 million people.


China to Build Great Electronic ‘Wall’ to Protect Airport From Drones


  • The administration of the Hangzhou airport in eastern China will use a high-tech solution to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). The decision is expected to contribute to aircraft safety, the state-run Chinese news agency Xinhua’s Russian edition reported. The technology, which has been dubbed an “Electronic Wall,” will help break communication between an UAV and its operator in the event that the drone gets closer than ten kilometers from the airport, according to Xinhua.


What Makes New Chinese Sea-Skimming Combat Drone Perfect for South China Sea


  • Pictures have emerged on social media of a new Chinese anti-ship drone that uses ground effect technology to fly at an extremely low altitude above the water. ​According to an article on Defense Blog, the new sea-skimming drone will be able to fly as low as 50 cm above the surface of the water. It can reach a maximum altitude of 3,000 meters and has an endurance of 1.5 hours. The drone has a maximum takeoff weight of 3,000 kilograms and can carry a 1,000 kg load.


China Is Building a Sea-Skimming Anti-Ship Drone

May 4, 2017

  • China is developing a new drone that uses ground effect technology to skim the surface of the ocean, allowing it to fly just eighteen inches off the water. The unmanned vehicle could be a challenging opponent for potential adversaries, some of whom would find it difficult to detect. The new unnamed drone, by comparison, is claimed to fly just 18 inches above the surface of the water. Against typical sea skimmers, a ship radar thirty feet above sea level would detect the incoming missile at 15.4 miles. The same radar would only detect the Chinese drone at 9.48 miles. A drone flying that close to the ground won’t be flying supersonic, and by appearances the UAV has a turbofan engine. Assuming a speed of 600 miles an hour, typical for subsonic anti-ship missiles, an enemy ship would have 59 seconds to react.


China’s Xinjiang Region to Use Drones to Enhance Border Security


  • The authorities of China’s northwest Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region intend to use drones to patrol the region’s borders as part of the broader program to enhance security, Xinjiang’s deputy chairman Jerla Isamudin said Tuesday.


JD.com to build 150 airports in China for drone delivery

April 9, 2017

  • A Chinese e-commerce giant said that it will build 150 airports in southwestern Sichuan province for unmanned aerial vehicle delivery, the official media here reported. JD.com CEO Richard Liu said the airports were expected to open in three years and the drone delivery will help reduce the freight costs by 70 percent. The drone service will deliver Sichuan’s products to shoppers nationwide within 24 hours and will improve delivery efficiency in remote mountainous areas in Sichuan, Liu added. JD.com has been developing drone delivery to meet the rising retail demand in China’s rural areas, where complex terrain and underdeveloped infrastructure have compromised timely human courier delivery.


US racing China to develop hypersonic attack drones by 2040

April 5, 2017

  • Aware that China is currently developing ultra-fast missiles, the US Air Force has tasked its weapon makers with building hypersonic drones that can be used for both surveillance and to release kinetic warheads in an attack.


China’s Only Maker of Cruise Missiles to Develop Drone Capable of Reaching Outer Space

March 18, 2017

  • An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that might be capable of reaching an altitude of 100 km above sea level will be developed for military use by China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC), a state-owned firm that is China’s largest missile-maker and the main contractor for China’s space program. CASIC said this drone will fly in the region of the atmosphere known as near space, which lies at an altitude of between 20 km to 100 km. Outer space is begins at an altitude of 100 km above sea level, a boundary that is also known as the Karman Line.


China’s police are now shooting down drones with radio-jamming rifles

Mar 16, 2017

  • A Chinese city’s police department is arming itself with more than 20 drone-jamming rifles to crack down on illegal drone flights. Police in Wuhan, central China , are going to be equipped with 20 of these rifles, which work by emitting radio signals that force the drones to land purportedly without damaging them.


China developing military drones that can evade radar, anti-aircraft weapons – media

9 Mar, 2017

  • China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp (CASIC) plans to develop technology for long-endurance stealth drones, as well as complete the design of high-speed combat/reconnaissance drones, CASIC’s deputy general manager told the official China Daily. CASIC is also interested in developing near-space drones, which would travel in Earth’s atmosphere at altitudes of 20 to 100km, above the top altitudes of commercial airliners but below orbiting satellites.


Latest-generation Chinese combat drone makes maiden flight

March 1, 2017

  • The Aviation Industry Corporation of China says the Wing Loong II that flew for the first time on Monday can carry up to 480 kilograms of bombs and missiles. The company known as AVIC says the drone has a wingspan of 20.5 metres, can stay airborne up to 20 hours and fly at a maximum altitude of 9,000 metres.


China says it has received its largest foreign drone order: Xinhua

February 27, 2017

  • An undisclosed buyer has placed the largest overseas order for China’s home-developed military drones, the Xinhua news agency has reported, in a boost for the Chinese arms industry’s efforts to increase export volumes. The order for the Wing Loong II was placed before the next-generation unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) successfully completed its maiden flight, Xinhua said late on Monday, citing the system’s developer Chengdu Aircraft Design and Research Institute.


JD.com sets up world’s first low altitude UAV logistics network in northwest China


  • China’s e-commerce giant JD.com has signed an agreement with northwest China’s Shaanxi provincial government to set up the world’s first low altitude UAV, or unmanned aerial vehicles logistics network covering the whole province. The drones to be used in Shaanxi are to be ten times bigger than those used in the Beijing-based company’s first UAV debut last June.


Power Company Sends Fire-Spewing Drone To Burn Garbage Off High-Voltage Wires

Feb 18, 2017

  • What happens when your power lines get all kinds of garbage hanging from them and it isn’t safe to send up a human? In Xiangyang, China, you send in the drones. Specifically, the drones that shoot fire. Just in case you were worried that the robot uprising was delayed, fear no more. It appears to be right on time, as these fire-spewing drones are sent to burn off rubbish that gets stuck on high-voltage wires.


Chinese one thousand drone swarm smashes Intel record

13 February 2017

  • Russia Today has posted video of a 1000 drone swarm. I’m still busy trying to count them. GhostDrone 2’s by eHang were the platform used. The quadcopters destroyed the previous swarm record of 500 drones flown by Intel last year. In the 15-minute show they formed the Chinese character “福,” which means blessings; the map of China and 1000 to let us know how many of them there were.


Dubai plans to introduce flying drone taxis as early as this summer

Feb 14, 2017

  • Uber, Airbus and others are still talking about creating test vehicles that would begin transporting cargo first, but Dubai’s Roads & Transportation Agency lead announced (via Mashable) at the World Government Summit in the city that they’re going to begin operating passenger service along predetermined routes starting in July, using the Ehang 184 autonomous quad-opener electric drone to ferry people through the air. The Ehang 184 is a drone that can carry one passenger with a max weight of 220 pounds, for a distance of 31 miles on one charge and at a top speed of 100 mph. It’s plenty enough for short haul trips across a busy urban landscape. Dubai officials will remotely monitor the drones, and pilot them from a centralized command center, and the city says it’s already started test flying the vehicle in Dubai skies, so this isn’t just pure bluster.


Meet the best of Chinese underwater drones

Feb 9, 2017

  • Emerging Chinese drone manufacturers led by DJI and EHANG have contributed greatly to the full transition of aerial drones from military devices to instruments that we use in everyday life. While they are trying their best to provide a bird’s eye view of our world, there are other Chinese companies are dedicated to give you a glimpse under the sea. Born out of a project under Chinese incubator platform Taihuoniao, Qiyuan Technology, developer of FiFish Atlantis, has received funding from Chinese startup guru Kaifu Lee and Li Wanqiang, co-founder of Xiaomi.


Global UAV Drones Industry: China and Japan to Post Highest Growth Rates in Near Future

February 8, 2017

  • A new market study on the global UAV drones industry has been added to the huge repository of MarketResearchReports.biz. The research report, titled „Global UAV Drones Industry 2015 Market Research Report”, provides a complete overview of the worldwide Industry of UAV drones on the basis of market segmentations, latest trends, and future projections. The global UAV drones industry has also been analyzed on the basis of its regional spread in this study. The U.S. has emerged as the largest market for UAV drones at present. However, the UAV drones markets in China and Japan are likely to collectively post the highest growth rate over the next few years, says the report. Analysts also expect the Europe UAV drones industry to exhibit significant growth in the near future.


China to test near-space flight of solar drone


  • China will test how its largest solar drone performs near-space flight this year, according to the China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics (CAAA) Tuesday. With a wingspan of more than 40 meters, wider than that of a Boeing 737 passenger plane, the rainbow series drone has just passed its first full-scale test flight, according to chief engineer of the CAAA drone project Shi Wen.


Foreign Customer Testing China’s CH-4 Networked Drones

February 6, 2017

  • Teams from a foreign military customer of China’s CH-4B series of attack drones recently tested four such drones networked to perform as a fleet. Officials from Chinese drone manufacturer, China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics (CAAA) were quoted in a Chinamil.com.cn report that ground controllers from the unnamed foreign nation who were trained at the academy guided four CH-4B drones via satellite to work together in a patrol.


China’s Got A New Weapon To Rival America’s Hellfire In The War On Terrorism


  • The China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics, one of the country’s largest military drone developers, recently conducted live-fire tests of its AR-2 short-range air-to-surface missile, which can be mounted on a combat drone for low-intensity conflicts and anti-terrorism operations, reports the China Daily. Weighing about 45 pounds and carrying a 10-pound warhead, the AR-2 has a range of 5 miles and a maximum speed of 450 miles per hour. It is well-suited for strikes against bunkers, houses, armored vehicles, and personnel.


China’s Launching Drones to Fight Back Against Earthquakes


  • So, over the past decade, the Chinese have further honed their post-disaster response strategy with a new kind of high-flying technology: They are using drones to find survivors and navigate disaster zones when time is short and the situation dire. In China, Shang Hong’s drones have already proven their value. The 2008 Sichuan earthquake and its aftershocks—which killed more than 69,000 people and left nearly 18,000 missing—triggered landslides and blackouts, destroying buildings and other infrastructure, cutting off victims from transportation and water supplies. Using UAVs, Chinese responders located downed bridges, collapsed tunnels, and other choke points that could inhibit their rescue efforts. They assessed damage to schools, apartment buildings, hospitals, and other population-dense locations.


China Envisions Combat Missions for its ‘Sharp Sword’ UCAV

Jan 20, 2017

  • Sharp Sword can carry a weapons payload of 2,000 kg (4,400 lbs. or two tons) in its two internal bomb bays. More advanced versions of Sharp Sword might even take-off and land autonomously from Chinese aircraft carriers. Others are planned as robotic wingmen to manned jet fighters. Sharp Sword is powered by a non-afterburning WS-13 turbofan engine. It has a length of about 10 meters and a wingspan of about 14 meters.


Meet China’s Sharp Sword, a stealth drone that can likely carry 2 tons of bombs

January 18, 2017

  • The Sharp Sword UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle), China’s stealthy attack drone, just won second place in the National Science and Technology Advancement Prizes. Considering the secrecy surrounding stealth drones to come out of China—there are relatively few photos of the Sharp Sword available, particularly as opposed to, say, the J-20 fighter—the Sharp Sword’s victory is pretty noteworthy. The drone, known as “Lijian” in Mandarin Chinese, is being paraded as a huge win for Chinese aviation technology. And it is. The Sharp Sword is the first non-NATO stealthy unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV). Built by Aviation Industry Corporation of China, with much of the work done by the Hongdu Aviation Industry Group, the Sharp Sword first flew in November 2013. Looking a bit like a mini-B-2 flying wing bomber, the UCAV has two internal bomb bays and a likely payload of about 4,400 pounds. Its engine is a non-afterburning WS-13 turbofan engine, with serpentine inlet to hide the engine from enemy radars (the first Sharp Sword does not use a stealthy nozzle due to its technology demonstrator status). It has a length of about 33 feet, and a wingspan of about 46 feet.


DJI and Seagate announce strategic partnership to advance data solutions for the UAV ecosystem

5 Jan 2017

  • DJI, the world’s leading manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and Seagate Technology (STX), a world leader in storage solutions, Wednesday at the Consumer Electronics Show announced a strategic partnership to work jointly to solve the data demands of UAV users. As drone cameras gain resolution and drone flight times grow longer, DJI and Seagate are focusing their efforts to securely and efficiently store, manage, download and share the hundreds of gigabytes of data that can be generated from a single drone mission.


An underdog of China’s tech scene is taking on industry leaders with a $290 drone that fits in your pocket

Dec. 30, 2016

  • Outside the Zhongguancun Software Park, Yang Jianjun, founder of Zerotech, and an engineer are standing on the empty lawn in front of the building entrance with a smartphone. During the last year and a half, Zerotech has created quite a stir. Using Qualcomm’s integrated SoC (system on chip) platform, they have rapidly reduced the size of their drones from to around 7 ounces, and the price from $500-$800 down to around $290. For comparison, industry leader DJI’s small portable Mavic Pro drone weighs 26 ounces and costs $725.


If Drone Swarms Are the Future, China May Be Winning

Dec 23, 2016

  • Although large Predator and Reaper drones are the face of modern militaries, drone swarms—dozens of fixed-wing drones flying in coordinated formation— could be the future of unmanned combat. And if these aerobatic flock of drones are in our future, then the Chinese believe they’re firmly in the lead after releasing a video last month of the largest swarm of fixed-wing drones ever flown. For years, the U.S. appeared to have a clear lead when it came to swarming drones. Last year the Advanced Robotic Systems Engineering Laboratory (ARSENL), claimed a new world record by launching a swarm of 50 drones at Monterey, California, all controlled by the same operator. But at the 11th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition last month, state-owned China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC) claimed to have shattered that record with a swarm of 67 drones flying together.


Decoding China’s home-developed drone Wing Loong


  • Chengdu Aircraft Design & Research Institute (CADI), a subsidiary of the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, has gained the world’s attention with its Wing Loong Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). Wing Loong UAS is a member of the “Loong (Dragon) Family” aircraft developed by the renowned CADI. Its stablemates include the Storm Dragon J-10 fighter and Thunder JF-17 figter (jointly developed with Pakistan).


Oddly Winged Xianglong Aerial Drone to Guide Chinese Missiles to US Navy Warships

Dec 09, 2016

  • Xianglong is being billed as the Chinese equivalent of the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk, one of the U.S. Air Force’s premier high-altitude, intelligence collection vehicles that can survey over 100,000 square kilometers a day. One source, however, said Xianglong will be armed with missiles and smart bombs. In wartime, Xianglong’s jammers will jam radars of enemy fighters and missiles. It will also jam communications between enemy bombers, airborne early warning and control aircraft, drones and datalinks between satellites, ships, land based missile launchers and missiles.


China military to induct unmanned spy drones for intelligence, electronic jamming

Dec 7, 2016

  • China’s People’s Liberation Army is in the process of inducting unmanned drones capable of reconnaissance, signal jamming and digital warfare along its land borders and deep into the seas. The locally manufactured Xianglong (Soar Dragon) drones are capable of flying at 750 km an hour.


Alibaba-Rival JD Envisions its Own Delivery Drone Fleet by 2017

November 10, 2016

  • JD.com Inc. has drawn up plans for drones to ply 100 regular routes by the end of next year. Taking advantage of less-restrictive regulations, it’s spent months testing its drones and from Friday — the same day as China’s annual 24-hour online shopathon — it intends to start operating four routes delivering packages to rural residents on a trial basis.


China develops high-speed intelligent unmanned sea vessel

November 04, 2016

  • According to Xinhua, the “SeaFly-01” finished a test at Nanhu Lake in Wuhan on Oct. 27. The 10.25-meter-long vessel has a maximum speed of 45 knots. It was built with carbon fiber material, and is equipped with BeiDou communication navigation technology. It is able to “learn” independently and avoid obstacles, among other functions. The vessel is able to carry a photoelectric scout device, light weapons, sonar and other equipment, and can be used in a wide range of applications, including coastal patrol, armed confrontation, submarine detection and water-quality monitoring.


Airshow China 2016: CASC unveils QY-1 rotary wing UAV

02 November 2016

  • The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) has unveiled a new vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) prototype at the Airshow China 2016 exhibition in Zhuhai. The QY-1 is essentially a militarised variant of the V750, which was originally developed by Weifang Tianxiang Aviation Industry Co Ltd (now known as Shenzhen Tianxiang Aviation Industry Co Ltd) as a multipurpose VTOL platform that can be employed in civilian and military applications. The V750 is itself based on the US Brantly B-2B two-seat light helicopter design, which was acquired along with production rights by Qingdao Haili Helicopter Manufacturing Co Ltd, with the first Chinese-assembled example completed in 2009 and a first flight in mid-2011.


CH-5 UAV officially unveiled at Airshow China

November 3, 2016

  • The highly anticipated CH-5 (Rainbow-5) unmanned aerial vehicle was officially launched on Tuesday at the 11th China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition (Airshow China 2016), being held in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, between Nov. 1-6, by its developer, China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics (CAAA). The CH-5 is the latest UAV of the Rainbow series. Long endurance at middle-high altitude is what its developer keeps boasting. Shi Wen, the chief designer of the rainbow series drones, confirmed at the product launch that the CH-5 can stay airborne for 40-50 hours at a time and has a range of 10,000-20,000 kilometers while carrying normal payloads. When carrying eight AR-1 air-to-ground missiles, the airborne endurance will still be maintained at around 32 hours.


Military parade reveals Turkmenistan’s new Chinese-built UAVs

02 November 2016

  • Turkmenistan paraded newly-acquired Chinese-made weapon systems, including several unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), during its Independence Day parade on 27 October. The Central Asian country revealed that it has become one of the first foreign buyers of the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) WJ-600A/D turbofan-powered unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV).