It was on the occasion of the military parade marking the 70th anniversary of the creation of the People's Republic of China, that the military authorities presented two new generation combat drones which focused the attention of national and international observers. We already knew that the Chinese aeronautical industry had been able to develop a family of combat and surveillance MALE (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) and HALE (High Altitude Long Endurance) drones, as the famous Wing Loong widely exported to the world , even in Europe. But this parade was the occasion for Pekin to mark the spirits with two new combat drones with the aspect and the performances very far above MALE drones, and presented as being already in service in the Chinese armed forces.
The first one is identified as the stealth attack drone GJ-11 , a delta wing aircraft similar to those known to the western public through the American X47B program and the European Neuron. With a wingspan of 14 meters, it seems more than likely that the GJ-11 was derived from the Sharp Sword program from HAIG, which made its first flight in 2013, and which another derivative version will equip the Chinese aircraft carrier Type 001A . Judging by its dimensions and appearance, the GJ-11 must reach a mass of 7 tonnes when empty, and from 10 to 12 tonnes at takeoff, a weight comparable to that of a light fighter. On the other hand, we note that it is much smaller than the Russian Okhotnik S70 which, with 10 meters of wing span and 20 tonnes at takeoff, visibly occupies the top of the spectrum of modern combat drones. The flying wing structure is particularly suitable for the design of stealth devices, having the particularity of being less sensitive than other current configurations to the phenomena of resonance of VHF-UHF waves.
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