Drone Certification TestChina’s high-end military technology advertised at the biggest air show

September 30, 2021by helo-10
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Models of the GJ-11 stealth armed reconnaissance drone and J-20 stealth fighter are on display at the China International Aviation and Aeronautics Expo (Airshow China) held in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, China on September 29, 2021. REUTERS / Aly Song

September 30, 2021

David Carton

China, Reuters – At its biggest air show this week, China lavishly exhibited its once-secret high-end military technology, spreading its ambitions for space exploration and commercial aircraft self-sufficiency.

Pandemic-related travel bans meant that air show China in the southern city of Zhuhai was primarily a domestic issue, but foreign observers said from afar while China built its military power. Pay attention to the progress of.

Kelvin Wong, Singapore-based Jane’s defense editor, said:

He pointed out the WZ-7 Xianglong. This is a high altitude, long lasting reconnaissance drone that is similar to the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk made in the United States, but with a poor engine. According to Wong, the WZ-7 has been witnessed operating at an air force base near the China-India border, the North Korean border, and the South China Sea.

China has been working hard to improve the performance of its engines, which lag behind Western technology. At the show, we flew the first J-20 fighter with a Chinese engine instead of a Russian one.

Two domestic engines for the Y-20 transport are also under test, the plane’s chief designer told Global Times on Wednesday.

The closest J-16D electronic warfare fighter to the US-made EA-18G Groller was exhibited on the ground, demonstrating its ability to help erode Taiwan’s anti-aircraft defenses in the event of a conflict.

Wong said at least three types of jamming pods were hung on the plane, suggesting that each was designed to destroy different parts of the electron spectrum.

China has also revealed that it is pursuing a “faithful Wingman” drone to protect more expensive crew fighters in line with rival projects in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, India and Russia. bottom.

The developers did not say whether the drone Feihong FH-97 concept would be exported, but the presentation was attended by many foreign observers.

Next frontier

China also revealed that it expects to launch a next-generation rugged rocket in 2028, two years earlier than previously expected, powerful enough to send a manned spacecraft to the Moon.

In commercial aircraft, China is stepping up efforts to strengthen self-sufficiency in key technologies amid trade conflicts with the United States.

Aero Engine Corporation of China exhibited a full-size rotary model of the CJ1000 engine under development for the C919 narrow-body aircraft. This could eventually replace the imported CFM International LEAP-1C engine.

Reuters reported on Monday that the C919 found it difficult to meet its certification and production goals due to strict US export regulations, citing sources familiar with the situation.

“With unparalleled domestic market and increasingly private investment participation, it’s only a matter of time before China resolves external technical disruptions,” said Wang Yannan, editor-in-chief of Beijing-based aerospace knowledge magazine. , The story of Reuters.

Western plane manufacturers are also finding it increasingly difficult to certify new models that compete with Chinese-made planes.

The Airbus A220, Embraer E-Jet E2 Series, and ATR 42-600 turboprop aircraft have not yet been approved by Chinese aviation regulators, despite years of use elsewhere, and are local. It is blocking sales opportunities.

However, Boeing said at the show that it expects the 737 MAX to be approved for return in China by the end of the year after it has been grounded for more than two years.

(Report by David Kirton, additional report by Stella Qiu, additional report and writing by Jamie Freed in Sydney, edited by Gerry Doyle)

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