Chinese military tests drone swarm-armored vehicle integration

By Liu Xuanzun Source: Global Times Published: 2020/9/10 18:22:00

Chinese armored vehicles and a drone swarm conduct utilization training. Photo: Screenshot from

China has successfully tested a new combat system that integrates armored vehicles and drone swarms, Chinese media reported on Wednesday. This technology will allow armored troops to acquire more battlefield information and launch deadly attacks, analysts said on Thursday.

The integrated drone swarm-armored vehicle combat system made its public debut in a statement recently released by its developer, a subsidiary of the state-owned China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC), reported Weihutang, a China Central Television program on military affairs, on Wednesday.

In May, an undisclosed unit of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) conducted a series of utilization training with this system, which was successful, Weihutang reported, citing the CASIC statement.

Drone swarm technology is an important trend, as mass-produced drones are of low cost, can cover a wide area, and are flexible and expendable, the report said.

Citing a plan released by the US Department of Defense in 2018, Weihutang said that the US is aiming to use drone swarms to cover ground troops by engaging in reconnaissance, close-range aerial support and communications relay, adding that China has also been studying similar approaches, and has tested a swarm of 67 drones in 2016.

A Chinese military expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Thursday that it is normal for militaries around the world to test similar technologies, given its potential to give them an advantage. By releasing an interconnected drone swarm, the armored vehicle on the ground can understand the battlefield situation much faster than using only a single drone, not to mention lowering the risk of casualties compared with sending human troops.

Drones can also be armed or launch suicide attacks, which will give the commanding vehicle a very deadly way to attack, the expert said, noting that the swarm means there would be many coordinated drones at their disposal, and it would be very difficult to intercept all of them.

Posted in: MILITARY

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