GAME OF DRONES: CHINA has unveiled a lethal new anti-submarine drone that can wipe out US targets amid WW3 fears as Beijing continues to bully Taiwan.
The CH-6 electronic attack vehicle will enable “more precise surgical strikes on targets” – especially in the South China Sea, warn military experts.
The CH-6 will bolster China’s reconnaissance and attack capability against US and allied forces operating in the Indo-Pacific region, said one researcher.
The drone, developed by the state-run China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, can fly for 20 hours at an altitude of 50,000 ft, has a speed of 450mph and a range of about 9,000 miles.
One of two new drones unveiled at the country’s biggest air show in Zhuhai, the CH-6 can “menace military targets across the Pacific with a barrage of missiles or snoop on American manoeuvres with the latest surveillance equipment,” reported the Times.
Beijing News said the drone will carry traditional air-to-surface missiles and precision-guided bombs.
The CH-6, which has a wingspan of 20.5 metres and is 15 metres long, can also unleash small and medium-sized cruise missiles, and anti-radiation missiles.
Designed to boost China Air Force’s strike ability and defensive tactics, the drone is “expected to push the envelope in terms of attack range”, said the South China Morning Post.
It was one of two new drones revealed at the country’s biggest air show – amid China’s increased military menacing of Taiwan, particularly from the sky.
The other aerial fighting tool was the WZ-7 high-altitude reconnaissance drone.
The WZ-7 is a high-altitude reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed to conduct missions including border reconnaissance and maritime patrols, China Central Television (CCTV) reported.
Previously known by its codename the ‘Soar Dragon’, it features a tandem-wing design, and is “extra-large” with an extended flight capability, a Chinese military expert told the Global Times.
This drone has a 24-metre wingspan and is 14-metre in length, making it one of China’s largest drones, says the SCMP.
Defence Blog described the WZ-7 as a high-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted vehicle with a bizarre design.
It said: “Developed for long-endurance missions at high altitudes, the aircraft features an unusual tandem, joined wing platform.
“The operational WZ-7 is likely to be used for maritime surveillance of foreign bases and warships, as part of the anti-access/area denial kill chain
“Its long flight time and large sensor payload, in particular, could allow it to follow aircraft carriers, while vacuuming up a wealth of data, for extended periods of time.”
Ridzwan Rahmat, principal defence analyst at Jane’s military news said: “Drones such as the CH-6 and WZ-7 represent an improvement in [China’s] ability to conduct more precise surgical strikes on targets that were previously unreachable given its lack of ‘eyes in the skies’.”
Malcolm Davis, a senior analyst specialising in Chinese security at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in Canberra, said both drones would be heavily used to help control the South China Sea – which China claims it owns.
He told the SCMP that the WZ-7 and CH-6 would be used alongside China’s other drone and autonomous systems, as well as piloted aircraft.
They would boost the “reconnaissance and attack capability against US and allied forces operating in the Indo-Pacific region.
CHINA BULLYING TAIWAN
Their unveiling comes as Taiwan has vowed to arm itself with long-range missiles to defend against the “severe threat” from China amid World War Three fears.
The pledge comes after the Chinese air force made more than 500 incursions into Taiwan’s air-defence identification zone so far in 2021, according to an official.
China treats the self-governing island democracy as a rebel region that must be reunited with the mainland – by force if necessary.
Taiwan has already this month proposed extra defence spending of almost $9 billion over the next five years.
China is rapidly developing its military systems to attack the island, Defence Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng warned on Monday.
Taiwan needs to have long-range, accurate weapons to properly deter its bullying neighbour, he added.
It intends buying new missiles, as it has warned of an urgent need to upgrade weapons in the face of a “severe threat” from its giant neighbour.
WORLD WAR III FEARS
In response, Taiwan’s air force scrambled to warn off the aircraft, which included 12 J-16 fighters and two nuclear-capable H-6 bombers, the defence ministry said.
Taiwan recently staged chilling biowarfare defence drills amid fears China is creating weaponised coronaviruses in preparation for World War Three.
Troops simulated a biological and chemical attack by Beijing as well as preventing a decapitation strike against their president.
Drills took place throughout Taiwan as well as on the Taiwan Straits as part of its largest annual military exercise, and involved both standing and select reserve forces.
Despite China increasing efforts to force the democratically governed island to accept Chinese sovereignty, most Taiwanese have no shown no wish to be ruled by autocratic Beijing.