By cloning XQ-98A Valkyrie drone, China highlights weakness in US strategy

Dance a tweet posted on September 29Acting Under-Secretary of the Army Christopher Lowman marveled at the operational superiority that the US armed forces will have on the battlefield in the near future, when F-35s, drones and missiles cruise ships will simultaneously strike targets engaged by US ground troops using precision long-range munitions, all thanks to a constant, real-time exchange of information from all units, and the progress of Artificial Intelligence. It obviously refers to the Joint All-Domain doctrine who today represents the backbone of American strategy in the years to come to counterbalance the rise of the Chinese armed forces in the Pacific, as well as all the related programs, such as for example the “consumable” combat drone programs piloted by a generic AI developed in under the US Air Force Skyborg program.

But this doctrine can only be truly effective if a strict postulate is respected, namely that the adversary does not have the same capacities for communication, cooperative engagement and autonomous systems, which represent the added value of the model. One can doubt this, however, by observing the drones presented by the Chinese state aircraft manufacturer CASC at this year's Zhuhai show, and in particular the “potentially consumable” stealth combat drone FH-97, which is no other than a clone of the XQ-98A Valkyrie of the American company Kratos, and one of the key models of the Skyborg program of the US Air Force. Admittedly, the presented FH-97 is only a model. Of course, this is an imperfect copy of the American model. But clearly, Beijing has no intention of letting Washington and its allies take any technological or doctrinal advance in the years to come, going so far as to reproduce almost identically, and within particularly short time frames, key programs to ensure this.

Kratos' XQ-58A Valkyrie drone is one of the 3 models selected by the US Air Force as part of the Skyborg program to design a potentially consumable combat drone

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