China unveils new high-altitude, high-speed reconnaissance drone WZ-8
By Yang Sheng and Liu Xuanzun Source:Global Times Published: 2019/10/1 11:32:18 Last Updated: 2019/10/1 17:57:59
China unveiled for the first time its high-altitude, high-speed drone, the WZ-8, at the National Day parade in Beijing, and Chinese experts said that the drone can provide more reliable reconnaissance data than satellites.
Uniquely shaped like a dagger with small wings, the reconnaissance drone is likely able to fly at a high-supersonic speed and have stealth capabilities, military analysts said.
Trucks carried the aircraft as a part of the unmanned weaponry phalanx in the parade.
The drone is likely launched in the air via a bomber or transport aircraft, military analysts said.
The biggest advantage of the drone is that it can effectively gather intelligence in real time in a controllable way compared to other platforms like satellites, Wu Jian, editor of Defense Weekly under Shanghai-based Xinmin Evening News, told the Global Times.
A satellite must travel along its orbit and conduct reconnaissance only when it is above the target, Wu said, pointing out that this can be calculated by the enemy, and can create fake intelligence.
A high-altitude, high-speed reconnaissance drone will not have this problem, Wu said, noting that the drone will also act as a soft deterrence, giving the message that the Chinese military can engage in reconnaissance on its targets, so can it launch strikes on them.
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