China’s BZK-005 drone faster, higher than U.S.

China builds fast to trigger drone race with America

Michael Sheridan, Far East Correspondent of The Sunday Times
Published: 15 September 2013

China has sent a military drone on what is thought to be the first mission of its kind in a significant show of the country’s determination to match America and Japan in the technology of warfare.

Japanese F-15 jet fighters scrambled from a base in Okinawa last Monday to intercept the unmanned aerial vehicle, which turned back towards the Chinese coast.

Although the drone flew in international airspace, officials in Tokyo said it had entered Japan’s air defence identification zone. Last year Japan scrambled its fighters more than 300 times to intercept Chinese military aircraft.

The Japanese defence ministry later released aerial pictures of the craft as it circled about 100 miles north of the disputed Senkaku Islands, known as the Diaoyu in China.

Aviation specialists identified it as a medium-range drone codenamed BZK-005, capable of flying for 40 hours at 26,000 ft.

[The rest of the article is available only to subscribers.]

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3 responses to “China’s BZK-005 drone faster, higher than U.S.

  1. The article’s author is making an inapprop comparison IMO.

    The issue is not about comparable/superior altitude, speed etc…. it’s about performance relative to mission set – and the 2 platforms at a base level are not doing the same mission set

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  2. James L Habermehl

    I certainly agree completely with Gary, as usual. Also, although I am falling into the false comparison trap set by the author, there is nothing about the BZK-005 that “matches” our current UAS technology, not even in aerodynamic performance since the proper comparisons would be to the MQ-1B/C and also the MQ-9. Of course, it certainly does represent an important capability for China, just as our first Predators did a decade ago.

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  3. The fact that the PRC’s drone is a little bit faster and flies a little bit higher than the US version is insignificant. It would not matter if it was 10 MPH slower and had a ceiling 1000 feet lower. The significant fact is that the PLA now has a drone capability. Its reliability and accuracy has yet to be demonstrated.

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