From the rear of an adapted combat truck, missiles are launched that, already in the air, transform into drones: this is what you see in the video released this week by the Chinese Academy of Electronics and Information Technology (CAEIT). In another part of the demonstration video, drones are launched from a helicopter. From the ground, the targets are identified on a tablet, which also serves to direct the missiles at their target.
According to a People’s Liberation Army source told the South China Morning Post, “they are still in the early stages of development and technical problems still need to be resolved. One of the main concerns is the communications system and how to prevent it from crashing in the middle of an operation. The military found that the artificial intelligence used is too slow to react ”.
According to this same source, drones are an example of the government’s strategy to use more and more companies in the development of armaments, boosting military development with the support of the private sector. Military analysts, however, viewed the demonstration with apprehension: swarms can be used to confuse and overwhelm air defense systems.
According to the South China Morning Post, information about the new Chinese weapons system is scarce, but experts believe the drones shown in the images are the development of the CH-901, drones launched by China Poly Defense in 2018.
The CH-901 has a range of 10 km or 40 minutes, flying at up to 120 km / h with explosive warheads. Orone can penetrate 10 cm of armor and destroy tanks and armor, detecting targets within a radius of more than 1.5 km, at an altitude of 450 m.
The test video comes shortly after the Chinese government stepped up military exercises using armed drones in the South China Sea and across the Taiwan Strait. The use of swarms is not exclusive to China: USA, United Kingdom and Turkey are some of the countries that are testing their use in combat.