Image via The Aviationist
Images of China’s new Lijian “sharp sword” attack drone have surfaced online, despite the fact that most would have really assumed that shit to be classified. The pictures’ release took place just a few hours before the U.S. Navy launched off its new drone, and are presumably meant to show off to the Americans. The Lijian is China’s first weaponized stealth drone, but this author won’t be impressed until it can kill smog.
The military and defense writers at Business Insider know much more about war hardware than your beloved Shanghaiist staff, and report:
The drone is quite interesting, as it features the characteristics like dark paint (most probably RAM – Radar Absorbing Material), a large frontal air intake, and a “normal” landing gear (as opposed to the reinforced one of the X-47B, needed to absorb the shock of the heavy landing on a flattop). It also sports the code “001” that denotes the first aircraft of such type.
Noteworthy is the sort of false canopy (like the one some combat planes have on the underside, directly underneath the front of the plane to confuse an enemy so he does not know in what direction the aircraft is headed/turning), seemingly painted on the UCAV to give planes flying in the vicinity of the drone, the idea a pilot could be seated inside it.
Sounds like the kind of stuff to make a Senkaku activist’s skin crawl. The People’s Daily keeps running op-eds saying things like, “The realization of the Chinese dream will see the country play a bigger role in maintaining world peace,” and, “A peaceful and stable China is a blessing to the Asia-Pacific region and the whole world,” but screw it, let’s make drones!