China to Fly First Stealth UCAV
China’s first stealth UCAV (unmanned combat aerial vehicle), the Lijian (literally “sharp sword”) drone completed trials in early May, indicating that China will become the third country to make use of stealth UCAV after the US and France.
According to media reports, the Lijian, developed with homegrown intellectual property, will be used by the People’s Liberation Army for tracking and reconnaissance purposes. Adopting the “flying-wing shape” which integrates wings with the body, a world-leading technology that makes signals hard for radar to detect, the new Chinese drone is capable of launching precision attacks on targets deep in enemy territory.
China began its research into UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) in the 1990s. Domestic media revealed that the country will raise the ratio of unmanned to manned aerial vehicles to 1:1 in the following 30 years, with the long-term goal of 2:1.
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Sep 2011 | Submitted by Brian Snelson
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