Chinese MALE, HALE (and rotary, small, suicide) UAV/UCAV thread

by78

General
PAP quadcopters, the same model are also used by with the PLA.

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kriss

Junior Member
Registered Member
Illustrations from an academic paper on catapult assisted takeoffs and arrested recoveries of carrier based UCAV. The illustration appears to show a WZ-10, which isn't the first time this drone has been associated with carrier operations (as seen here and here).

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Where did we get WZ-10 designation again? Curious cloud shadow would be designated a WZ instead of GJ like other Wind Loong.
 

kriss

Junior Member
Registered Member
GJ seems to be for drones with strike/attack/weaponized function as built in. (GJ-1, GJ-2, GJ-11)

WZ seems to be for ISR. (WZ-7, WZ-8)
But WZ-10 can carry the same weaponry as GJ-1 and GJ-2. Even considering its EW capability which might be used as a ELINT but more likely SEAD drone, it's still a recon and strike drone just like GJ series.
 

Blitzo

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
But WZ-10 can carry the same weaponry as GJ-1 and GJ-2. Even considering its EW capability which might be used as a ELINT but more likely SEAD drone, it's still a recon and strike drone just like GJ series.

That entirely depends on whether the drones the PLA bought for its own use is intended to be armed or not.

Even if it is capable to be armed, perhaps that is considered a secondary role for it.


Either way, there are lots of reasonable explanations for why it is WZ rather than GJ, IMO it isn't that surprising.
 

ACuriousPLAFan

Brigadier
Registered Member
Illustrations from an academic paper on catapult assisted takeoffs and arrested recoveries of carrier based UCAV. The illustration appears to show a WZ-10, which isn't the first time this drone has been associated with carrier operations (as seen here and here).

52884630740_22604f9aaf_o.jpg
52884261096_3bdb0556df_o.jpg
52884630785_f207fb6403_o.jpg
That entirely depends on whether the drones the PLA bought for its own use is intended to be armed or not.

Even if it is capable to be armed, perhaps that is considered a secondary role for it.


Either way, there are lots of reasonable explanations for why it is WZ rather than GJ, IMO it isn't that surprising.
Just to slip in some personal thoughts, so do pardon me.

So far, we know that:
1. WZ-10 is suitable for ELINT and SEAD roles; and
2. GJ-2/-3/-11 is suitable for dedicated strike roles.

Once these two UCAVs have been adapted for carrier-based usage, they will form a capable unmanned reconnaissance and ground attack aerial formations. Clearly such development is meant for the 076 LHDs to provide aerial support for amphibious assault operations against you-know-what islands.

However, consider this - If more of the currently land-based UCAVs that specialize in different roles (AEW, ASW, EW, ELINT etc) can be gradually adapted for flat-deck use (with at least STOBAR/STOL capability), this development certainly will bring significant above-sea control capability uplifts for all the current active Chinese flat-decks, i.e. Liaoning, Shandong and the 3 075 LHDs.

This is especially when considering that proper, comprehensive aerial cover and protection capability (except fighters) for PLAN warships beyond the First Island Chain by land-based aircrafts and carrier-based aircrafts from Liaoning, Shandong and the three 075s is still woefully inadequate compared to their American and Japanese counterparts. Hence, before CATOBAR supercarriers (i.e. 004, 005 etc) and 076 LHDs are in active service in sufficiently large numbers, these flat-deck-adapted UCAVs will have to become the stopgap measure for covering PLAN warships in terms of AEW, ASW, EW, ELINT etc.

If STOBAR/STOL adaptation is not possible, then the upcoming 076 LHDs (and carriers from Fujian onwards) can be equipped with these UCAVs that are adapted with CATOBAR capability.

(Speaking of the 076 LHDs - Despite how the 076-class LHD is still very much an amphibious assault ship as its core role, yet the presence of at least one EMALS catapult, arresting gear system and proper aviation facilities onboard means that the 076 LHD is a viable platform for the operation of naval aviation aircrafts, including UCAVs that have been adapted for carrier use.)

Extra note: In the meantime (and speaking hypothetically), if the PLAN decides to pursue further development of the
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into a 21st-century "escort carrier" (which I have described in detail in the PLAN Breaking News Thread a few days ago), then these carrier-adapted UCAVs will become even more useful for China's warfighting in the WestPac.
 

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Blitzo

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
Just to slip in some personal thoughts, so do pardon me.

So far, we know that:
1. WZ-10 is suitable for ELINT and SEAD roles; and
2. GJ-2/-3/-11 is suitable for dedicated strike roles.

Once these two UCAVs have been adapted for carrier-based usage, they will form a capable unmanned reconnaissance and ground attack aerial formations. Clearly such development is meant for the 076 LHDs to provide aerial support for amphibious assault operations against you-know-what islands.

However, consider this - If more of the currently land-based UCAVs that specialize in different roles (AEW, ASW, EW, ELINT etc) can be gradually adapted for flat-deck use (with at least STOBAR/STOL capability), this development certainly will bring significant above-sea control capability uplifts for all the current active Chinese flat-decks, i.e. Liaoning, Shandong and the 3 075 LHDs.

This is especially when considering that proper, comprehensive aerial cover and protection capability (except fighters) for PLAN warships beyond the First Island Chain by land-based aircrafts and carrier-based aircrafts from Liaoning, Shandong and the three 075s is still woefully inadequate compared to their American and Japanese counterparts. Hence, before CATOBAR supercarriers (i.e. 004, 005 etc) and 076 LHDs are in active service in sufficiently large numbers, these flat-deck-adapted UCAVs will have to become the stopgap measure for covering PLAN warships in terms of AEW, ASW, EW, ELINT etc.

If STOBAR/STOL adaptation is not possible, then the upcoming 076 LHDs (and carriers from Fujian onwards) can be equipped with these UCAVs that are adapted with CATOBAR capability.

(Speaking of the 076 LHDs - Despite how the 076-class LHD is still very much an amphibious assault ship as its core role, yet the presence of at least one EMALS catapult, arresting gear system and proper aviation facilities onboard means that the 076 LHD is a viable platform for the operation of naval aviation aircrafts, including UCAVs that have been adapted for carrier use.)

Extra note: In the meantime (and speaking hypothetically), if the PLAN decides to pursue further development of the
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
into a 21st-century "escort carrier" (which I have described in detail in the PLAN Breaking News Thread a few days ago), then these carrier-adapted UCAVs will become even more useful for China's warfighting in the WestPac.

The pursuit of integrating fixed wing UAVs onto LHDs like 075 or more likely 076, as well as large deck carriers, is of course something that's going to happen.

But there's no reason to think specifically it has to be a GJ-1/2/11 variant or a WZ-10 variant (though we know that it seems a WZ-10 variant seems to be developed for CATOBAR, but whether that is for operational purposes or not).



There are going to be a whole variety of medium and high end fixed wing UAVs for naval applications and linking it with existing types probably isn't the best way to think about it long term.
 
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