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China’s armed drones appear built from stolen data from US cyber intrusions
China’s vibrant military blogosphere presented a video this month revealing a missile-firing unmanned aerial vehicle in action, dropping bombs against ground targets.
The Caihong-4, or CH-4, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is a testament to the remarkable success of China’s military in copying vital high-technology weapons that currently are considered among the most cutting edge arms systems used in modern combat operations for both ground strikes and intelligence-gathering.
The one-minute, 37-second online posting shows takeoffs and landings of the drone. It was uploaded to the video-sharing website Youku Dec. 17. According to the blogger who posted it, the video was produced by 11th Academy of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, a drone developer and manufacturer.
The drone is shown launching two different types of bombs and the impact of their explosions on the ground. One is labeled a 50 kilogram, satellite-guided bomb and the second is an unguided CS/BBE2 50 kilogram aerial fragmentation bomb.
Photo analysis of the CH-4 shows the remote-controlled aircraft is very similar to the US military’s front-line combat UAV, the MQ-9 Reaper.
Both aircraft are about the same size and wing-span and both sport identical V-tails, landing gear, imaging pods and propeller-driven rear engines.
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