It’s no secret that China has been developing drone technology—and not merely for benevolent reasons. The People’s Republic of China has been ramping up its development of drone technology geared at a military purpose.
And they have just unveiled a new milestone.
The official Xinhua News Agency reported that China has conducted live fire tests with two CH-4 UAVs. The catch: the pilots were 1,000 km away. This means Chinese pilots on Chinese soil could fire missiles from a drone anywhere in the world.
Previously, Chinese-made drones relied on direct line-of-sight communications with their ground control station, meaning the pilot had to have line-of-sight with the drone. But this test beefs up Chinese capability considerably.
The CH-4 is a 1,300 kg UAV with a 345 kg payload and a 35-hour flight endurance at 4,000 m altitude. It is comparable to a US MQ-9 Reaper. Also, one of the drones tested is a CH-4 UCAV with an electro-optical sensor turret that has a 1080p digital camera capable of finding a man-sized target 20 km away and inertial guidance in case of degraded satellite navigation signals.