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BZK-005 Chang Ying / Long Eagle

The PLAN possesses not only smaller tactical UAVs but also a limited number of sophisticated reconnaissance UAVs. Notably, the PLAN operates the mediumaltitude long endurance (MALE) BZK-005 or Chang Ying, which has a maximum range of 2,400 kilometers and a maximum endurance of 40 hours. The BZK-005, designed by the Beihang University’s UAV Institute and the Harbin Aircraft Industry Group is thus roughly comparable to the U.S. Global Hawk. The BZK-005’s development dates back to 2000, under the leadership of chief designer Xiang Jinwu, and it underwent testing and verification 2006, ahead of being finalized and delivered around 2007.

The BZK-005 has been operating in the vicinity of the East China Sea since at least 2013, when, according to Japanese media, the BZK-005 entered Japan’s ADIZ in the East China Sea and was intercepted by Japanese fighter jets. Based on satellite imagery, there were at least three BZK-005 UAVs stationed at the PLAN airfield on Daishan Island in Hangzhou Bay in the East China Sea as of mid-2015.71 In addition, by mid-2016, there were also reports that the PLAN had deployed at least one BZK-005 UAV to Woody Island in the South China Sea, based on satellite imagery, though it has not been clear whether or not it may be stationed there permanently in the future.

One of China's most advanced combat drones won the first prize of National Science and Technology Progress in January 2018. This is the Changying high-altitude reconnaissance drone developed by Beihang! More importantly, the award-winning public information confirms several advanced features of the Changying UAV.

The leader of the Long Eagle UAV project is Xiang Jinwu, who is a professor at the Beihang Institute of Unmanned Systems and the chief designer of the model. He led the Long Eagle UAV project team and established a high-altitude and large-time UAV technical system with completely independent intellectual property rights.

From the award-winning information, the Long Eagle UAV has the following proven technical features.

First, Long Eagle UAV has active/passive all-weather reconnaissance capability. Usually, high-altitude reconnaissance unmanned opportunities use synthetic aperture radar and optoelectronic equipment as the main means of reconnaissance. The former is an active detection method capable of penetrating clouds, vegetation and other unfavorable conditions for detection. The latter is a passive detection method and is not easily perceived by the other party. But more importantly, this drone has the capability of reconnaissance of passive radio signals, that is, using its own special equipment to collect signals from radios such as radars and communication equipments of the other side, and to summarize them, adding an extra latitude to the reconnaissance work.

Second, the Long Eagle UAV plateau / high-altitude performance is significantly improved. China's combat aircraft has long had a "heart disease" problem. The level of the engine has limited the development of many fighters, including high-altitude drones. The Long Eagle UAV uses a jet engine to ensure sufficient thrust and reasonable fuel consumption in the high altitude. There is enough thrust on the plateau to ensure a reasonable take-off and landing distance, so that it has some other propeller power in China. Excellent plateau/high altitude performance not available in drones.

Third, the Long Eagle UAV has the technology of broadband fast remote real-time measurement and control and information transmission. The high-altitude reconnaissance drones have a very large amount of information. The main reason is that they have a wide field of vision. Synthetic aperture radar and optoelectronic devices can collect a large amount of video/still image information. In modern warfare, the time sensitivity of this information is extremely important, ensuring that this massive amount of information can be transmitted to remote command centers and other combat platforms in real time, which may determine the outcome of the battle.

This is a very high technical requirement for the Long Eagle UAV, the supporting ground air and even the space communication platform. In particular, satellite real-time broadband transmission technology has high technical requirements, and only a few powerful countries can do so. The United States encountered relevant technical bottlenecks during the period of the former South China War, indicating the difficulty of this technology.

On the whole, the many technical achievements of the Long Eagle UAV broke a number of domestic records and filled the gap, making China's high-altitude reconnaissance drones into the world's most advanced ranks. The actual role of this drone is like a satellite with wings, which has profound implications for China's military to master the modern combat mode.

On November 6, 2018, Beijing North Aerospace Yu Changying UAV Technology Co., Ltd. carried the long eagle series UAV BZK-005E (Eagle E) real machine debut in Zhuhai Airlines exhibition. According to reports, this is the export type of the high-altitude remote unmanned aerial vehicle system of the People's Liberation Army BZK-005 - BZK-005E (Eagle E). With the adjustment of the national military trade export policy, Beihang UAV Company developed the export-oriented product BZK-005E (Eagle E). BZK-005E has made new breakthroughs in high reliability, high degree of flight control autonomy, short-distance take-off and landing, maintenance and use, and obtained export license in September 2018. The BZK-005E drone is said to have a very high lift-to-drag ratio, which greatly shortens the take-off run distance, increases the maximum takeoff weight, reduces fuel consumption, and extends battery life, thereby improving system deployment performance.

The BZK-005E UAV platform also uses standardized and modular design, which can easily and quickly load different performance or different types of reconnaissance/surveillance equipment according to different mission requirements, and conduct photoelectric reconnaissance, radar reconnaissance, electronic reconnaissance and communication. Follow-up, environmental monitoring, geodetic and other tasks. The application of redundancy design technology and system reconstruction technology makes the BZK-005E UAV have strong security performance and ensure the platform is safe to use.

Beihang UAV Company stated that it is in response to the call for national military-civilian integration. While serving the national defense, it also pays attention to the field of universal drones. From large logistics aircraft to small fixed wings, from unmanned helicopters to quadrotors, from military reconnaissance to a variety of civilian applications.

BZK-005C is an integrated surveillance and strike drone, which is based on the original advantages of the bzk-005 medium-altitude and long-range unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, combined with more than 10 years of experience in use, and has been optimized in structure and equipped with weapon systems.The target exercise further demonstrated the adaptability of drones in complex environments. During the target exercise, different types of bombs and missiles were dropped and launched many times, which fully verified the superb strike capability of BZK-005C. Especially in a target test, the strike precision, strike effect and attack difficulty were higher than other domestic uav of the same order, which was highly recognized by the industry experts.

While continuing the advantages of the BZK-005 series UAV, the BZK-005c optimizes the aerodynamic, structural and system design according to the operational requirements of the complex environment, further improving the short-range takeoff and landing performance, and being able to take off and land on the earth runway, improving the battlefield adaptability In the process of loading weapons and fire control systems, advanced integrated control technologies of flight control and fire control are adopted to enable the uav to automatically complete the target attack during the strike process, which greatly reduces the operational difficulty of flight controllers and weapon controllers, and enables them to seize the aircraft in time to achieve rapid strike. Compared with similar drones, the BZK-005C has the characteristics of large weapon load, with the maximum weapon load exceeding 300kg. In particular, it can load 100kg weapons, and it can attack multiple targets in one flight. And the use of general, standardized design, can mount a variety of systems, different levels of missiles, bombs.

The new variant named 'Sky Eagle', in service with the PLA Army, features a chin mounted SAR antenna. As a consequence, the EO turret was relocated to the middle section of the fuselage.

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Page last modified: 01-08-2021 14:09:36 ZULU