Analyzing the latest samples of Chinese military equipment presented at the parade in Beijing on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China, it should be noted that experts are particularly interested in the unmanned rocket-powered aircraft powered by the WZ-8 liquid-propellant rocket engine.
Presumably, this UAV can patrol the territory within 1-2 thousand km and reach a speed of Mach 3-4. The device is designed for high-altitude reconnaissance over the sea area and the issuance of target designations for DF-21D and DF-26 ballistic missiles. According to information provided in the Chinese media, the device is designed to be launched from the H-6 long-range bomber, created on the basis of the Soviet Tu-16 multi-purpose aircraft. This conclusion is made on the basis of the fact that it has visible fasteners on top.
Judging by the size of the platforms on which the WZ-8 UAVs were shown, the length of the UAV is approximately 10 meters, the wingspan is about 3 meters, the diameter of the fuselage is 0.65 — 0.7 m. The presence of a wheeled chassis in this UAV indicates the possibility of returning to the airfield and reuse. At the same time, a number of experts express doubts about the feasibility of creating this UAV.
A prototype of the GongJi-11 flying wing-shaped jet drone (GJ-11) was also shown at the parade. According to the materials of the Chinese press, the GJ-11 is capable of carrying a combat load of 900 to 2000 kg on the external and internal suspension units. The maximum take-off weight is about 10 tons, the speed is about 900 km / h, the combat radius is 1200 km. This device can be used as a strike and reconnaissance UAV, including taking off from the deck of an aircraft carrier.
The development of UAVs in the form of a flying wing is also carried out in Russia. So in September of this year, we could observe the Russian UAV "Hunter", made according to this scheme, in a joint flight with the 5th generation SU-57 aircraft on the video of the Russian Defense Ministry.
UAVs with jet engines, in comparison with UAVs equipped with piston and turboprop engines, have a greater take-off weight, better thrust-to-weight ratio, and are able to carry an increased payload. In this regard, heavy drones have a significant potential in the role of long-range high-altitude reconnaissance, used for patrol flights and radio signal relay, as well as being equipped with aircraft-controlled weapons of destruction. Therefore, the creation of such heavy UAVs in China is given great attention.
For example, it is known about the development in China in the interests of the Navy of an unmanned strike hovercraft CH-T1 with a mass of about 3 tons with anti-ship missiles.
In November 2009, the HQ-4 Xianglong (Soaring Dragon) heavy jet drone was launched, designed for patrolling, reconnaissance and targeting anti-ship missile systems. The UAV is made according to a rather unusual aerodynamic scheme with a closed wing.
There is also information about the development of other heavy UAVs.
Thus, it is obvious that using its great economic and technological potential, as well as thanks to its own modern radio-electronic base, China is taking active steps to create a wide range of small, medium and long-range UAVs. The declared goal of the development of military drones is to create a reliable protection of its territory in the event of possible armed conflicts.