China upgrades UCAV into a high electromagnetic jamming vehicle
BEIJING ($1=6.75 Chinese Yuans) — China has conducted performance tests of the state-developed FH-95 electronic warfare drone. The drone was developed by Aerospace Times Feihong Technology Co [ATFTC], a subsidiary of the state-owned China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. The news was reported by the specialized magazine Unmanned Vehicles. According to the magazine’s sources, the tests took place at an undisclosed base near Beijing.
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The FH-95 can carry a maximum payload of 250 kg, the sources said. The drone can fly 24 hours in the air, performing both complex combat and complex reconnaissance missions. Unmanned Vehicles sources say the FH-95 is designed to operate in a highly contested battlefield environment. Its capabilities are not only limited to conducting electronic warfare, but also to delivering precision airstrikes.
The FH-95 has an autonomous mode of operation. It can operate in a widely deployed aerial formation in conjunction with other drones, including aircraft. Armed reconnaissance, border patrol, and maritime surveillance are some of the drone’s uses.
Chen Jianguo, ATFTC general manager, and researcher says another primary purpose is to provide cover. “In addition to conducting electromagnetic jamming of enemy weapons systems during a mission, the FH-95 is designed to provide stealth to the FH-97 unmanned aerial vehicle, which must penetrate and destroy enemy lines. However, the FH-95 must also provide cover and assistance to another of our drones, the FH-92A, which conducts follow-up attacks,” says Chen.
The FH-95 is a new Chinese development. It was first introduced last year, but the first test flight of the drone took place in 2017. In 2019, its flight, combat, and reconnaissance capabilities were presented to foreign customers, including representatives of the Chinese government. Two years later, China found the first foreign customer for the FH-95 but declined to name exactly who it was.
Now with new electronic warfare capabilities, China believes it will find more than one customer for the FH-95. However, the FH-95 began to enter service with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. Chinese military experts say such a drone capable of reconnaissance, attack, and jamming will be an essential weapon system in future wars and conflicts.
“The FH-95 will need to perform remote detection outside the defense zone or carry out tactical feints and saturated attacks in coordination with manned aircraft,” Chen said, adding: “Today’s popular drones are mainly designed for reconnaissance and attack roles, so a drone, capable of electronic warfare, will provide a new dimension to drone deployment.”
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