BEIJING, January 6 (ChinaMil) -- The "pterosaur" unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), a new type of UAV independently developed in China, carried out its first formation flight test since the beginning of the New Year.
This type of UAV will be delivered in batches in 2015, according to the plan.
Experts said the relatively well-developed "pterosaur" UAV is expected to be deployed soon, and it is an inevitable trend that UAV will be deployed on aircraft carriers, but it may not be the "pterosaur" UAV.
Yin Zhuo, a military expert, said in an interview that the formation flight test of the "pterosaur" UAV indicates this type of UAV is well-developed and will be delivered soon. There are very strict independent navigation requirements for UAV to carry out formation flight, and their positioning should be very precise to avoid collision, Yin Zhuo said. At the same time, the formation flight of the "pterosaur" UAVs indicates that the remote control problems have been completely solved, Yin Zhuo added.
During the formation flight test, all the "pterosaur" UAVs were able to correctly find the airport and land at it in the mountainous and hilly environment of southwest China's Guizhou province.
Cao Weidong, a military expert, held that it means the communication system of the "pterosaur" UAV has met the requirements, namely, both the UAV and its controlling personnel on the ground can smoothly receive and send signals, and the coordination between the UAV and its ground controlling personnel has been verified. The fact that the "pterosaur" UAV can precisely find the runway and land on it according to its program proves that the UVA possesses a very good performance and can carry relevant loads to perform equivalent reconnaissance and surveillance missions, reaching the same level as the same type of UAVs made in other countries, and the next step is to put the UAV into mass production and deliver it for use, Cao Weidong added.
"Although the 'pterosaur’ UAV is not yet delivered for use, it is at the same level as the 'predator' UAV of the U.S., which can perform both reconnaissance and strike missions, according to media reports,” said Yin Zhuo.
"The number of weapons carried by the 'pterosaur' UAV is not smaller than that of weapons carried by the 'predator' UAV, namely it can carry six weapons in its two pylons, possessing very powerful combat capability," Yin Zhuo estimated. "But it is a little inferior to the U.S. 'Reaper' UAV, as the flight speed of the 'Reaper' UAV equipped with a turbojet engine is higher than that of the 'predator' UAV. The flight speed of the 'predator' UAV is at over 200 kilometers per hour which is at the same level to the 'pterosaur' UAV", Yin Zhuo analyzed. "China also possesses the turbojet engine technology, and if necessary, China can also use the technology in the upgraded models of the 'pterosaur' UAV in the future," Yin Zhuo added.
Yin Zhuo introduced that the "pterosaur" UAV will be mainly used for large scale reconnaissance, including patrolling along borders, instead of manpower to a large extent. By relying on its characteristics including lower speed flight and longer hang time, the "pterosaur" UAV can carry out surveillance and early-warning tasks in the wilderness areas and jungle areas along the borders between China and Vietnam and between China and Myanmar, and at the same time, it can use its loaded weapons to attack enemies after the invading enemies ignore the warning, Yin Zhuo added.
With regard to whether the UAV can be deployed on aircraft carriers in the future, Cao Weidong said it is an inevitable trend, but it is not sure whether it is "pterosaur" UAV.