China plans to equip its aircraft carriers combat drones

Китай собирается оснастить свои авианосцы боевыми беспилотниками

Chinese military plans to equip its aircraft carriers unmanned aircraft. It is reported by Chinese newspaper Global Times

Shi Wen, chief engineer of China aerospace scientific and technological Corporation (CASC) for the development of drones-fighters said that China is developing drones capable of taking off from aircraft carriers. This program will be the answer to the program UCLASS naval forces of the United States, which was successful in take off and landing drones on aircraft carriers, and American MQ-25 Stingray, which in coming years will be to work on drones for refueling of aircraft carriers.

Although the two Chinese aircraft carrier “Liaoning” and almost finished CV-17, equipped with ski jump that is likely to allow them to only use drones vertical takeoff and horizontal landing (vertical take-off and landing, VTOL), the next aircraft carrier China, CV-18, likely to have electromagnetic catapults. They will allow CV-18 and its followers for nuclear-powered to run more heavy and fast drones with turbofan aircraft engine.

Presumably, the drones that were mentioned by Shi, will be more complex and difficult version of modern systems. For example, it is planned to modify the drone “Lijiang”, which refers to the type of “flying wing” (the same as the B-2 bomber and the drone X-47B) and is equipped with two compartments that can carry 2 tons of bombs. It is possible that future variations will be increased fuel tanks to increase range.

Китай собирается оснастить свои авианосцы боевыми беспилотниками

Diagram of the drone “Lijiang” type “flying wing”

Shih also added that the main customer CASC, people’s liberation army of China, is studying the possibility of using artificial intelligence for “slave” drones with manned aircraft.

It is noted that China is already experiencing the first unmanned aerial VTOL system on their warships. These drones similar to the unmanned helicopters designed for reconnaissance and possibly anti-submarine tasks. They, most likely, will begin to operate in the coming years, and then they will be replaced by more complex reactive systems, VTOL, such as the convertiplane (the engine is tilted 90 degrees to the horizontal flight) or aircraft with tail propulsion (the whole drone tilts forward perpendicular to horizontal flight).

Китай собирается оснастить свои авианосцы боевыми беспилотниками

Unmanned helicopter V750

Shi also mentioned that the new drone invisible “Zaichun X” (CH-X), will be presented in November 2018 Judiska on the show. CH-X is probably designed on the basis of “Lijiang”, a drone-stealth “flying wing”. Like other members of the family, “Zijun” presented at the China international aviation and aerospace exhibitions in Juhae, CH-X, is likely to be offered for export, it may be exported the world’s first unmanned fighter invisible. And despite promotion to foreign buyers, it may find application at the local naval forces.

Китай собирается оснастить свои авианосцы боевыми беспилотниками

Chinese attack drone invisible Cloud Shadow

Previously, the first made-in-China aircraft carrier, made in the image and likeness of the Ukrainian “Varyag”, was released in his first voyage. The ship, which has not yet received an official name, will be put into operation by the end of this year. It is expected that by fighting he will be ready in two years.

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