Chinese UAV & UCAV development


vesicles

Colonel
I hope its old. They are running Windows XP.
Believe it or not, lots of sophisticated instruments are run by software on older gen OS’s. Writing complex softwares takes a long time (years or maybe over a decade), while OS changes on a yearly basis.

And once the software is done, their OS is most likely well behind the latest. Of course, they can modify their software to fit the new OS. But that might take even longer. Keep in mind that this is highly sophisticated and complex software that we are talking about. When they finally finish upgrading their software to fit the new OS, the OS has changed again.

It’s a vicious cycle that the software engineers can never catch. So most of the complex softwares are usually run on outdated OS.
 

subotai1

Junior Member
Registered Member
Believe it or not, lots of sophisticated instruments are run by software on older gen OS’s. Writing complex softwares takes a long time (years or maybe over a decade), while OS changes on a yearly basis.

And once the software is done, their OS is most likely well behind the latest. Of course, they can modify their software to fit the new OS. But that might take even longer. Keep in mind that this is highly sophisticated and complex software that we are talking about. When they finally finish upgrading their software to fit the new OS, the OS has changed again.

It’s a vicious cycle that the software engineers can never catch. So most of the complex softwares are usually run on outdated OS.
Agree. I live in that world. Although I will say that XP, or Server 2003 (as is more likely in this case) had a number of issues that would not suit this type of system well.
 

kurutoga

Junior Member
Registered Member
Agree. I live in that world. Although I will say that XP, or Server 2003 (as is more likely in this case) had a number of issues that would not suit this type of system well.
The real concern here is Chinese military using a US computer OS with possible backdoors built-in. When I checked it carefully I also found the same laptop used for WL-2. These are not for real time control, possibly only for high level, less-mission-critical functions.

OTOH Chinese air-force only purchased small amount of WL-1 so far for testing. They are still waiting for the newer model CS-n(?) to be ready before they buy. Everything so far is for foreign customers.
 

subotai1

Junior Member
Registered Member
The real concern here is Chinese military using a US computer OS with possible backdoors built-in. When I checked it carefully I also found the same laptop used for WL-2. These are not for real time control, possibly only for high level, less-mission-critical functions.
Agree with your comments about the OS. And whatever the use, the bigger issue is that China ran (runs?) pirated versions of Windows for a long time. The OS alone had a lot of holes and pirated versions had even more. That could lead to possible leaks or loss of information, regardless of use.

One thing to note, that is not a laptop they are using. Its what is called a KVM, which is a keyboard and monitor used to control a number of computers in a equipment rack.

Either way, I don't want to derail this thread any more than this, so will quit here.
 

siegecrossbow

Brigadier
Staff member
Super Moderator
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新华社北京1月27日电(张汨汨、冯国宝)空军后勤部探索建立军民联合无人机补给模式,联合两家军民融合战略合作单位,日前在北京成功组织云南、陕西两地三型无人机联合补给演练。这也是我军首次运用无人机实施联合补给演练。


PLAAF explored using drones to provide logistic support in an exercise that involved civilian companies like Shunfeng.
 

plawolf

Brigadier
The real concern here is Chinese military using a US computer OS with possible backdoors built-in. When I checked it carefully I also found the same laptop used for WL-2. These are not for real time control, possibly only for high level, less-mission-critical functions.

OTOH Chinese air-force only purchased small amount of WL-1 so far for testing. They are still waiting for the newer model CS-n(?) to be ready before they buy. Everything so far is for foreign customers.
These are export machines that will need to be able to work with systems the clients already have.

I also doubt the clients would be happy with a proprietary Chinese OS running on mandarin. The PLA would also probably not allow the OS their own systems are based on to be exported to start with.

Besides, the key element of network security is the network, not the OS.

Military secure networks are supposed to be secure. Which means outside parties cannot just dial up and IP and gain access.

If the enemy has cracked your secure datalinks and are in your secure battlefield networks, you got bigger problems than old OS. The US nuclear forces are still using floppy disks in comparison.
 

taxiya

Major
Registered Member
Just as playwolf said, don't worry too much about the windows OS. These machines are not physically (via cable) connected to internet. The only way for an enemy to get in contact is wireless if somehow they manage to get in line of sight between the drone and satellite or ground station and break the encryptions. Possible but not easy. Note, the Iranian success of interception was more likely GPS spoofing rather than intercepting and hacking the datalink.
 

Hyperwarp

Captain
As taxiya put it, these Windows systems are not connected to the internet or any other network other than particular military network with secure communications. Win OS used in these systems will have many systems disabled and 3rd party proprietary security systems added. China most likely cracked the source code itself to further seal vulnarabilities.

The risk is if a spy gets physical access to the system and installs some malware, or exploit other vulnerabilities. The other risk is the communication between the drone and ground control. If a someone cracks the encryption then they are in trouble regardless of the OS running.
 

vincent

Senior Member
As taxiya put it, these Windows systems are not connected to the internet or any other network other than particular military network with secure communications. Win OS used in these systems will have many systems disabled and 3rd party proprietary security systems added. China most likely cracked the source code itself to further seal vulnarabilities.

The risk is if a spy gets physical access to the system and installs some malware, or exploit other vulnerabilities. The other risk is the communication between the drone and ground control. If a someone cracks the encryption then they are in trouble regardless of the OS running.
Stuxnet got on airgap industrial systems through zero-day bugs that infect through USB.

Those holes got patched. XP will never receive updates
 

timepass

Brigadier
AVIC TO LAUNCH NEW WING LOONG UAV VARIANT IN 2018



The Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) will launch a new variant of the Wing Loong-series of medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) – the Wing Loong ID (or I-D).

Reported by China’s state-owned news agency
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on January 25, AVIC subsidiary the Chengdu Aircraft Design & Research Institute (CADI) will conduct the maiden flight of the Wing Loong ID in 2018. The Wing Loong ID will also enter the market by the end of this year.

The Wing Loong ID will be a direct improvement of the Wing Loong I, which first flew in 2007 and has been exported to foreign customers (especially in the Middle East) since at least 2012.

Li Yidong, CADI’s vice chief designer and the chief designer of the Wing Loong series, reportedly said that the Wing Loong ID will be more capable and more affordable than the Wing Loong I. Changes include an increase in flight ceiling, endurance, internal and external payload along with a higher-output engine.

“The Wing Loong ID is the first generation of improved reconnaissance-strike UAS [unmanned aerial system] in China. With other members of the family, it will help enhance the influence of Wing Loong brand in the global military trade market,” said Li Yidong.

Analyst Henri Kenhmann of the
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website reports, quoting CADI director JI Xiao Guang, that CADI expects the Wing Loong-series to secure €1.9 billion in sales to domestic and overseas clients over the next five years. It also seems that the Wing Loong ID’s airframe will be built from only composites.

Notes & Comments:

Originally designated Pterodactyl, the Wing Loong MALE UAV-series competes with fellow-AVIC subsidiary China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC)’s CH-4-series in the market of strike-capable ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) drones. Between the two, AVIC has been able to secure a leading position in the Middle East and Central Asian markets. Saudi Arabia is believed to be among the Wing Loong’s users, though it is unclear if Riyadh is behind the marquee purchase of Wing Long II, the first major iterative variant of the Wing Loong and CADI’s largest overseas drone sales to-date.

AVIC may be intending to have the Wing Loong ID directly supplant the Wing Loong I and to complement the Wing Loong II. In effect, the Wing Loong ID would be the lower-cost alternative to the Wing Loong II. With the Wing Loong ID, AVIC would have a means through which it can aggressively expand its market-share in the market, especially in cost-sensitive markets such as Latin America and Sub Saharan Africa.

It will be interesting to see how other drone makers will respond. The bulk of the U.S. industry’s efforts are focused on supplying aircraft to the U.S. and NATO markets, but Textron is
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in those as well as other markets with the Nightwarden UAV. Likewise, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has been marketing its Anka UAV to Middle East and Southeast Asian markets, the latter – especially where Beijing does not notably strong defence relations or customers – could be viable for TAI. Latin America could be a key market which could see genuine competition (which had been lacking in the Middle East and Central Asia due to the U.S.’ refusal to supply armed drones, freeing the space for China). The likes of Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Argentina, while relatively cost-sensitive, are still capable of executing large purchases of big-ticket items. This market could be key for AVIC and TAI, especially following the exit of Harpia Sistemas – a joint-venture between Israel’s Elbit and Brazil’s Embraer and Avibras– as an active factor to design, develop and manufacture UAVs in Brazil for this region.

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