Chinese UAV & UCAV development


Bltizo

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
To admit, I'm asking myself if it is indeed a stronger or more a stranger message?

Concerning this project, it is so much mysterious so that in the end we have two possibilities:

Option 1: Some day I wake up without any expectations and the news threads are full of discussions, images and so on since SAC unveiled this beast.

Option 2: Nothing will happen and even in 2025 some nice peoples cheer to the camera with still the old image in the background.

I'm really not sure, what's the more likely option.

IMO, if this new years picture had emerged alone without any recent indications of Dark Sword being worked on in any form, then I probably wouldn't have put much stock in it.

But of course, this mysterious photo from 2018 (almost certainly a mock up) exists, so unfortunately we don't have the luxury of just dismissing the recent new years photo as something that can be ignored.

 

ougoah

Captain
Registered Member
To admit, I'm asking myself if it is indeed a stronger or more a stranger message?

Concerning this project, it is so much mysterious so that in the end we have two possibilities:

Option 1: Some day I wake up without any expectations and the news threads are full of discussions, images and so on since SAC unveiled this beast.

Option 2: Nothing will happen and even in 2025 some nice peoples cheer to the camera with still the old image in the background.

I'm really not sure, what's the more likely option.
I think option 2 but "this beast" is another machine entirely. This model's been paraded around so much it's become obvious without being front page news kind of high profile in the military watcher community. It's a deception. The real direction of "the next" when it comes to air superiority drones/fighters isn't this particular picture/model.

However China's been recently quite a lot more transparent with its military equipment than in the past. And the progression and revelation follows option 1's pattern. Certainly when it came to J-10, J-20, Sharp Sword, and the high altitude UAVs WZ-8 and divine eagle.
 

xyqq

Junior Member
Registered Member
Chinese copy of the Firebee drone? Looks remarkably similar, down to the intake geometry. There was also a known Chinese copy of the Firebee but I forgot the name.
You are referring to WuZhen-5 (Unmanned Surveillance-5) or DR-5 (Drone-5). It is China's first drone in production, just like the first fighter J(ian)-5, transport Y(un)-5, attack aircraft Q(iang)-5, and bomber H(ong)-5.
WuZhen-5_under_Tu4.jpg
 
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Tam

Major
Registered Member
You are referring to WuZhen-5 (Unmanned Surveillance-5) or DR-5 (Drone-5). It is China's first drone in production, just like the first fighter J(ian)-5, transport Y(un)-5, attack aircraft Q(iang)-5, and bomber H(ong)-5.
View attachment 57359
Did the Chinese get a Tu-2? That's pretty awesome, should be a priceless plane by now.
 

xyqq

Junior Member
Registered Member
Did the Chinese get a Tu-2? That's pretty awesome, should be a priceless plane by now.
Between 1953 and 1960, China received 12 Tu-4's from USSR, 11 of which were refitted with turboprop engines around 1970.
Out of them, 2 are on display at the China Aviation Museum:

1. Carrier of WuZhen-5 drones (#4134):
Tu-4-4134-WuZhen5.jpg

In operation:
Tu-4-WuZhen5.jpg

2. KJ-1 prototype (#4114):
Tu-4-4114-AEW.jpg
Note: In 1969, China developed its first airborne early warning aircraft based on the Tu-4 airframe. The project was named KJ-1 and mounted a Type 843 rotodome above the fuselage of the aircraft. However, due to clutter noise the KJ-1 failed to meet the PLAAF's requirements.

In flight:
Tu-4AEW.jpg
 

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