Chinese UAV & UCAV development


ougoah

Captain
Registered Member
Is it possible that there is an additional rocket stage?
I would guess a smaller attachment since I can't imagine a balanced additional rocket stage. It'll need to be pretty wide in diameter and wouldn't be the best way to boost this. Any improper or induced misbalance will let aerodynamic forces create a couple to destabilise the entire thing. If the drone can be taken to the proper speed and altitude using another rocket stage, I think the configuration should be similar to how a shuttle is positioned with the booster rockets.

This drone is probably dropped from something unless those attachments on top are fakes to mislead. To be honest the nozzle end here as displayed in the parade do look a bit like they're missing something. It's probably just a cover and they've removed it to show it's rocket powered in case anyone was to assume it's something more exotic. Makes sense since the CCP is an organisation that doesn't usually like letting adversaries thinking too highly of its military ability.
 

Biscuits

Junior Member
Registered Member
Maybe that’s where a stealthy attachment goes during missions?

After all, if they have flown several times unspotted over Taiwan (which has at least some primitive radar), there must be some way the drone can remain stealthy from behind as well as from the front.
 

ougoah

Captain
Registered Member
Unspotted is a BIG assumption. The Taiwanese are not going to tell everyone what they have or have not spotted on radar. I'm sure they're used to mainland exercises and training firings because the island is so close some people have managed to swim there. But being a high altitude, supersonic, small and stealthy looking drone, it's quite likely it's never been spotted by Taiwan or the USN camping nearby. This would be with or without a stealthy attachment. Surely two conical nozzles of that size won't do all that much in contributing to RCS and observability at that distance.
 

styx

Junior Member
Registered Member
is the liquid rocket propulsion solution a sign that chinese considers somewhat expendable this drones in case of war? A low cost solution to locate us carriers for anti ship ballistic missiles and guide them via data link? Think also that an supersonic drone incursion will force them to switch on the radars.
 

Totoro

Captain
VIP Professional
I do think a booster section is doable, when droped from h6, if the control surfaces can compensate for some initial disbalance before the booster gets the drone almost vertical. at that point the disbalance would disappear.

rocket propulsion may be the simplest way to achieve the goal, if the goal is short/medium range recon.

scramjet engine might be a superior solution for similar speed/altitude while giving greater range, but it may very be that scramjet engines are simply not mature enough as of today.

I am more interested in seeing some sensor openings on the aircraft. both a long range camera and a radar would need aperture of several decimeters to be really useful as side looking sensors.
 

taxiya

Major
Registered Member
Also not mentioned as far as I'm aware is what look like areas for fixings and attachments.

View attachment 54522

Looks like they've removed a certain component meant for the nozzle end of this drone.
Two of the three tubes must be turbine exhausts in a gas-generator cycle. The engines are alleged to be of type YF-50 (other variants being used in the upper stage of space launchers).
 

Tirdent

Junior Member
Registered Member
This drone is probably dropped from something unless those attachments on top are fakes to mislead. To be honest the nozzle end here as displayed in the parade do look a bit like they're missing something. It's probably just a cover and they've removed it to show it's rocket powered in case anyone was to assume it's something more exotic. Makes sense since the CCP is an organisation that doesn't usually like letting adversaries thinking too highly of its military ability.
The pipes projecting from below the nozzles are probably not attachments but turbo-pump exhaust vents (gas generator or tap-off cycle engines). Still, it's possible that while carried below the H-6 there is a boat tail fairing which covers the nozzles for lower drag (think Space Shuttle piggy-back on the 747 SCA). Kinzhal also has such an aerodynamic shell that is jettisoned after launch.

I do think a booster section is doable, when droped from h6, if the control surfaces can compensate for some initial disbalance before the booster gets the drone almost vertical. at that point the disbalance would disappear.
You can add strakes to a tandem booster so that the combined stack has stable aerodynamics, but the result would probably be too long to fit under a H-6? A pair of underwing boosters seem more likely to me as well (they'll block the main landing gear wells on the drone, but since they'd be long gone by the time it lands that shouldn't be an issue).

EDIT: Gah, taxiya beat me to it, lol!
 
Last edited:

Top