Chinese UAV & UCAV development


Registered Member
The biggest advantage to using drone swarms over conventional weaponry like artillery and missiles are:

drones are small, slow, emit low heat signatures, made mostly of plastic and can be ultra low flying. Trying to detect them at anything like a decent range would be difficult to impossible depending on the conditions on the ground.

Conventional artillery and missiles can be detected much further out, giving the target more response time.

Countermeasures available
Few nations other than China have much in the way of viable counter drone systems available. Hand held drone jammers are few and far between, and designed to counter commercial drones. How effective they are against military drones with hardened electronic and counter jamming capabilities remains to be seen.

Conventional weapon systems would also have a hard time effectively engaging drones give the above mentioned detection issues and the sheer manoeuvrability of drones.

Accuracy and control of the drones
With a drone swarm, you can specifically pick priority targets to kill almost up to the last second before impact. That means you can make sure that the most important targets are taken out. With a drone swarm, you also have instant kill confirmation up to the last drone in the swarm. That way you can be sure what needs to die is dead, allowing you to immediately move forward with battle plans without needing to waste time doing damage assessments with other assets after the attack.

Flexibility of deployment
These drone swarms are best used in urban areas to pick out enemy military assets hiding in civilian areas. You can accurately pick off large numbers of enemy military assets hiding with minimal risk to nearby civilians that would be impossible to achieve with a conventional missile or artillery barrage.

Consider how drone swarms like this could be used in a Taiwan scenario.

You'd have thousands of drones swarming every nook and cranny.


Junior Member
Registered Member
Given advances in satellite navigation and terrain mapping, think about the implication of trying to counter drones that can hug a couple meters or even much less above ground level.

Or drones that can be pre-deployed to very precise positions as intelligent mines prior of enemy passing through.

Drones than can be used to harass, delay enemy advances to cover for a retreat.

Drones landing on top of hills/vantage points beforehand, using cameras to recon passage points while remaining low observable themselves, not needing food or water and not getting tired.

Cheap but fast drones carrying radar reflectors to make enemy waste expensive long range SAMs. While real jets hang behind waiting for opportunities to go for the kill.
I definitely think Smart mines will be the case in the near term.

Besides costs, there will also need to be more development in both sensor quality and machine recognition of targets.

The way I see it, versus my own scenario posited, the greatest advantage of a drone is ability to loiter and perform precision attacks.

I was told that one of the most popular Taliban harrassment methods were Grad rockets hooked up to crude timers. Just dropping it off near a FOB and concealing it.

Similarly those trucks could lay a drone field and retreating. Targets passing through could be recognized/prioritized by computer and man in the loop would accept/reject to launch attack.


Junior Member
Registered Member
I have a question, is China completely independent when it comes to drones?

Canadian decision to halt tech exports exposes key weakness in Turkish drone industry

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For example, the Bayraktar TB2, which is currently deployed in the Nagorno-Karabakh, Libya and Syria war zones, has Rotax 912-iS engines produced in Austria. As for the Akıncı drone, its Ivchenko-Progress Motor Sich AI-450T type Turboprop engine is imported from Ukraine.

Camera systems, another critical part for UAVs, are either WESCAM MX15HD, GosHawk II or MX15 FLIR, all of which are imported from Canada, Germany and the US, respectively. The three countries are now imposing export restrictions due to Turkey’s internationally criticized military operations abroad.

In fact Canada had temporarily suspended the issuance of all new export permits in April due to Turkey’s incursion into northern Syria in October of last year. Canada later issued an “exceptional permit” for the sale of sophisticated drone optics to Turkey in June. The decision was reportedly made after top Turkish officials made a series of phone calls to their Canadian counterparts to resolve the issue.


HW-310A Small Multi-purpose UAV:
- Capable of autonomous takeoff.
- Wingspan: 4.6m
- Length: 3.6m
- Max Takeoff Weight: 85kg
- Useful Load: 15-20kg
- Cruising speed: 100-120km/h
- Max speed: 130km/h
- Endurance: 8 hours
- Ceiling: 3000m
- Fuel type: gasoline
- Remote control radius: 50km (line-of-sight)
- Wind resistance: level 6
- Can carry daylight and infrared cameras for surveillance, agricultural pest-control monitoring, disaster monitoring, forestry survey, etc.

HW-350 Small Long-Endurance UAV:
- Capable of autonomous takeoff and landing.
- Wingspan: 8.2m
- Length: 5.5m
- Max. Takeoff Weight: 220kg
- Useful Load: 30-50kg
- Cruising Speed: 130-150km/h
- Max Speed: 180km/h
- Endurance: 18 hours with 20kg payload
- Ceiling: 4500m
- Fuel Type: gasoline
- Remote Control Radius: 150km (line-of-sight)
- Level 6 wind resistance
- Can carry daylight and infrared cameras as well as laser-based instrumentation at the same time.
- Can be used to establish an emergency aerial 5G communications network.
- Can carry magnetometer for maritime rescue, recovery, and ocean surveillance.

Raven UAV:
- Wingspan: 1.4m
- Length: 1.2m
- Max takeoff weight: 2.2kg
- Remote control radius: 20km
- Endurance: 90 minutes
- Range: 100km
- Video feed resolution: 1280x720
- Engine: high-efficiency brushless electric motor
- Ceiling: 1000m
- Wind resistance: Level 5
- Beidou and GPS positioning
- Autonomous return when battery is low or when control signal is lost
- Prep time before takeoff: 3 minutes
- Single or two operators
- Dimensions for conveyance: smaller than 0.6x0.5x0.4m
- Total system weight: less than 6kg


Junior Member
Registered Member
@Wangxi China at least has its own image sensor and engine industries.
It is not as dependent on imports of such components as Turkey is.

AFAIK Wing Loong also uses a Rotax engine. But I never heard of Austria restricting exports of this engine.
Also, Austria isn't a member of NATO.
According to this article the engine is local
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More brochures from the 2020 Changchun International UAV Expo.

LQ-209F UAV:
- Specifically designed and built to study Earth's magnetic field.
- All composite construction.
- Max level speed (sea level): 180km/h
- Cruising speed (at 2000m): 120km/h
- Ceiling: 5000m
- Endurance: 10 hours
- Max takeoff weight: 320kg
- Useful load: 50kg
- Remote control radius: 200km (line-of-sight)
- Length: 4.273m
- Wingspan: 8.5m

Unfortunately, I can't translate much of the image below because most important bits have been obscured.

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