Chinese drone, anti-drone systems to shine at upcoming Airshow China
Published: Oct 31, 2022 09:26 PM
The CH UAV company displays the CH-6 drone for the first time at Airshow China 2021 in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province in September. Photo: Lin Luwen/GT

The CH UAV company displays the CH-6 drone for the first time at Airshow China 2021 in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province in September. Photo: Lin Luwen/GT

Aircraft and equipment to participate in Airshow China 2022 have been arriving over the past few days in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province where the expo will be held next week, with observers eagerly anticipating the exhibition of China's drone and anti-drone systems at a time when the importance of the two is highlighted in the Ukraine crisis.

A pair of J-16 heavy fighter jets landed in Zhuhai on Sunday in preparation for the upcoming air show, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Monday.

Other types of aircraft including the JL-10 advanced trainer jet and the Y-20 large transport aircraft, as well as the Red Falcon Aerobatic Team, have also arrived at the site, CCTV reported.

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force will send aircraft in the 20-series, which also includes the J-20 stealth fighter jet, and the PLA Army will for the first time send helicopters for flight performances, the CCTV report said.

According to media reports, China will exhibit a large collection of drones, including the Wing Loong series armed reconnaissance drones, the CH-7 high-altitude long-endurance drone, the Twin-Tailed Scorpion D four-engine large drone and the WZ-8 high-altitude high-speed reconnaissance drone.

Anti-drone systems developed by China will also make their first appearances at the Airshow, CCTV reported.

China has developed many types of missiles, guns, lasers and radars with different working principles that can work in tandem in targeting low, slow, small aircraft like drones, military observers said.

Drones and anti-drone systems are expected to be some of the highlights of this year's Airshow China after this duo of "spear and shield" was underscored in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, they said.

In modern warfare, the application of drones has become wide, and it has also become easy to obtain drones. In the Russia-Ukraine conflict, not only were dedicated armed reconnaissance drones deployed, simple suicide drones or loitering munitions were also used, Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military expert, told the Global Times on Monday.

Those simple drones fly low and slow, and they have a small radar cross section. Conventional radar systems targeting fighter jets and cruise missiles often have a hard time detecting them. They are also cheap and can be easily mass produced, Wei said.

China is in a world-leading position in anti-drone technologies, as China has developed many types of electronic jamming devices and vehicle-mounted laser systems that are drone killers by nature, Wei said.

China is also a world-class developer of drones capable of independently developing advanced stealth attack drones, Wei said.

Since drones are difficult to intercept in flight, another option is to destroy them before they take off, or even better, destroy their manufacturing facilities, and using a country's own drones is a very good choice for these missions, a Chinese drone expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times.