Not-So-Friendly Skies: China Conducts Drone Strikes via Satellite
They just conducted drone strikes from 1,000 km away.
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.