So, I missed this while I was getting my America on this weekend. China's Global Hawk-style, high-altitude unmanned spy drone could be making its way into PLAAF service, as these pics from China Defense Blog may indicate.
What's most significant about this aircraft making its way into military service is the idea that it may be used to provide targeting data for China's much fretted about anti-ship missiles.
Per Aviation Week:
U.S. analysts are already suggesting that the new Chinese UAV design -- with its 60,000-ft. cruising altitude, 300-mi. radar surveillance range and, possibly, lower radar reflectivity if made from the right composites -- could serve as the targeting node for China’s anti-ship ballistic missiles.As James Holmes points out in The Diplomat, this is just the latest development in China's increasingly sophisticated military modernization efforts that are aimed at removing China's reliance on foreign weapons suppliers. Pay close attention to Holmes' last line about China's ability to produce high-quality aircraft engines.