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The Military Transportation Technology

China Demonstrates 25+ Unmanned Aerial Vehicles 97

Posted by timothy
from the we-can-seeeeee-you dept.
overThruster writes "The Wall Street Journal and Defense News report that China had more than 25 different unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) on display at the Zhuhai Airshow. In addition to a jet powered UAV that is potentially faster than US made drones such as the Predator and Reaper, the Chinese have developed an unmanned 'thopter' for surveillance. 'ASN showed off 10 different UAVs, including the new ASN-211 Flapping Wing Aircraft System, which simulates a bird in flight. The prototype on display has a take-off weight of only 220 grams with a maximum speed of six-to-10 meters a second and an altitude ranging from 20-200 meters. A spokesperson said the micro-UAV would mainly be used for low-altitude reconnaissance for troops in the field.'"
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China Demonstrates 25+ Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

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  • by PatPending (953482) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @03:11AM (#34289850)
    Gives new meaning to the phrase, "Chinese take-out"
  • Ornithopter, FTW. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortex@noS ... t-retrograde.com> on Saturday November 20, 2010 @03:22AM (#34289870)

    Sure ornithopters [wikipedia.org] are great, but what I really want is a personal submarine that looks like a shark [gadgetsfromchina.com], or perhaps a subway train that drills its own tunnels [wikipedia.org], like a worm.

    • a personal submarine that looks like a shark

      From the manufacturer's [seabreacher.com] website:

      Price for a custom built Seabreacher is dependent on the number of options that a customer chooses, but price tends to range from US$ 65,000 for a standard model to upwards of US$ 85,000 for a high-performance, heavily customized version.

      So much for "cheap," made-in-communist China products.

      • Re:Ornithopter, FTW. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @03:54AM (#34290006)

        Price for a custom built Seabreacher is dependent on the number of options that a customer chooses, but price tends to range from US$ 65,000 for a standard model to upwards of US$ 85,000 for a high-performance, heavily customized version.

        This is about the same price that a BMW M5 will put you back. If you've got the money, I guess your buying choice will depend on whether you live near water, or the Nürburgring.

        DISCLAIMER: I rode a couple of laps around the Nürburgring in an M5 driven a professional race driver chick. It was a hoot and a half, to see how she passed guys with too much money, driving Porsches. They didn't want to believe that they were being overtaken by a chick in a white BMW.

        God damn that car was fast, but I think that driver, and her knowledge of the track really made the difference!

        • Re:Ornithopter, FTW. (Score:4, Informative)

          by PatPending (953482) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @04:07AM (#34290046)
          The female driver was likely Sabine Schmitz (formerly Sabine Reck) [wikipedia.org]. It's known as the Nurburgring Taxi [nurburgring.org.uk]

          According to her own estimates, Sabine has gone around the track more than 20,000 times, increasing by approximately 1,200 per year. Her familiarity with the circuit earned her the nicknames "Queen of the Nürburgring" and "the fastest taxi driver in the world".

        • by jiteo (964572)
          That is not a disclaimer, you just wanted to brag ;)
        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          My lady has a 2000 Astro, which is when they went to the 4.3l Vortec V6. It's a fucking monster with towing capability beyond what most pickups have. Passes practically anything. People get really irate when you pass them in an Astro, especially Mexicans. I know that sounds racist but it is a fact that nobody wants to race to avoid being passed by the Astro more than Mexican males... putting the cheese in Machismo. And ESPECIALLY when it's being driven by a woman, it's like they can feel their testicles shr

          • I, a Mexican, hereby attest to the non racist nature of your comment. It's a bit of a generalization (hip, cool, feminist mexicans exist, you know?), but this suv-mommyvan problem is visible enough to justify the small bit of political incorrectness.

        • Not trolling you or anything (ha what a way to start a post), but there isn't really anything that shocking about Porsches being overtaken by a BMW M5. That said, I totally agree that the driver was the one that made the difference and made it look easy.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by aurispector (530273)

        Prices for chinese made goods have been kept artificially low due to currency manipulation by their government, slave labor-level wages and working conditions and a practical absence of environmental & consumer protection regulations. All these actions were deliberately taken by the chinese government in order to jump start their own economy while stealing entire segments of their competitors economies. Their carefully premeditated goal is nothing less than the destruction of the power of the west and

        • Their carefully premeditated goal is nothing less than the destruction of the power of the west and the ascension of china to the pre-eminent power on earth.

          *Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to my underground lair. I have gathered here before me the world's deadliest assassins.*

    • by jamesh (87723)

      perhaps a subway train that drills its own tunnels, like a worm.

      Well... there's this [wikipedia.org], but it probably doesn't have the speed or general ferociousness you are looking for.

    • If you look at the video, it never seems to actually submerge though - is it in fact a sub?
    • by scheme (19778)

      Sure ornithopters [wikipedia.org] are great, but what I really want is a personal submarine that looks like a shark [gadgetsfromchina.com], or perhaps a subway train that drills its own tunnels [wikipedia.org], like a worm.

      That sub can't actually submerge. It looks like the intake and exhaust still need to be in the air for it to work.

  • by assemblerex (1275164) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @03:40AM (#34289946)
    before china and the west come into conflict of interest. That is why we need to move industry out of there to vietnam or another friendly country.
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wJHj3hOcuI [youtube.com] Good for them, I demonstrated mine in 2007 and nobody wanted it.
  • *metres per second
  • "The prototype on display has a take-off weight of only 220 grams with a maximum speed of six-to-10 meters a second and an altitude ranging from 20-200 meters. A spokesperson said the micro-UAV would mainly be used for low-altitude reconnaissance for troops in the field." This is not in the linked article...
  • ... a bunch of UAVs will get trashed, but no human lives will be lost . . . that would be an improvement . . . wouldn't it? I dunno, maybe I'm wrong . . . I guess it might help, if the UAVs are not armed with nuclear weapons. I'm reminded of The Far Side cartoon, where American pioneers with covered wagons in a circle are attack by American Indians. One pioneer says to the other, "Hey, they are lighting their arrows! Are they allowed to do that?"

    • by bkmoore (1910118) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @04:10AM (#34290050)
      One unintended consequence of the CIA's armed UAV air strikes is the US has basically said it is legal to target persons in third countries with UAVs. Sooner or later the Chinese will do the same. The US will protest, and China will remind them that they are only doing what the CIA has been doing for years.
      • The regular air force does this now. You can join and be behind a desk and joystick piloting a UAV in a few years.

        This is "mainstream" now.

        http://www.popsci.com/drones [popsci.com]
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by timeOday (582209)
        Hawks don't think that way though; the basic premise is the enemy is so intrinsically evil that your only option is to be evil first, beating him to the punch. Thus (by definition) a provocation or bad precedent by the good guys is just a head start on what would have happened anyways, since (unfortunately) the bad guys are so evil.
      • by couchslug (175151)

        The US protests as a matter of humoring the sensitive. Do note that China may oppress people in its sphere of influence, but hasn't bothered the US much after detente.

  • by blind biker (1066130) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @05:11AM (#34290216) Journal

    My guess is: none. The notorious mode operandi of chinese military industry is to buy one or two pieces of a particular equipment (for instance, the finnish Patria AMV), pull it apart to the last bolt and nut, and copy the design. Chinese are supreme artists in this, and thanks to their powerful and flexible industrial base, they can start up production faster than anyone on Earth (at this point.

    Various countries have sold them military drones. My guess is that none of those displayed is fruit of chinese R&D.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by iinlane (948356)
      An UAV is mostly a software research project because hardware is mostly well understood. If they have copied an existing one without access to source code the machines will be outdated quite soon. Disclaimer: I work on UAVs and UGVs
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      The notorious mode operandi of chinese military industry

      That's mode of operation or modus operandi. HTH, HAND.

    • by timeOday (582209)
      This is slashdot, need I remind you that "information wants to be free?" Inventions don't have loyalty.
    • by jovius (974690)
      Military research should be inherently transparent. All of the data should be open and shared in entirety. It would take the edge away from the nationalist psychosis rampant around the world. It's telling that the outcome is seen as a threat.
    • And your point being? If you didn't know, the US and Soviets carried out "rescue" operations at the end of WWII to catch as many German scientists as possible, especially those who worked with rockets and jets. Werner Von Braun is one of the most famous example of this. The US called it, Operation Paperclip. You can read about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Paperclip [wikipedia.org]. Do you even have any proof that the Chinese copied Western designs other than the usual "the Chinese are inferior and primit

    • I am shocked to learn from your post that China is extraterrestrial territory.

  • a model under development, is about the size of a large duck and has flapping wings

    Any army with robotic Ducks of Death, is guaranteed to win!

  • I can't believe that no one has considered two possibilities of UAV technology. Firstly, in terms of cross border smuggling - which country will be able to afford to patrol their entire border 24/7 looking for a tiny UAV that is virtually undetectable? And secondly, UAVs can easily be turned into small cruise missiles with only a very minor upgrade. Never underestimate the power of 1 or 2 kg of high explosive delivered with GPS accuracy.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Firstly, in terms of cross border smuggling - which country will be able to afford to patrol their entire border 24/7 looking for a tiny UAV that is virtually undetectable?

      A tiny UAV can't carry any meaningful cargo. A larger UAV will be detected by automated means before it can cross the border. If it crawls it will be seen by IR. If it flies it will be seen by RADAR.

      And secondly, UAVs can easily be turned into small cruise missiles with only a very minor upgrade. Never underestimate the power of 1 or 2 kg of high explosive delivered with GPS accuracy.

      We have numerous technologies for shooting down missiles. I suppose it would work for infrastructure attacks. Bug bomb activated...

      • by Dunbal (464142) * on Saturday November 20, 2010 @08:46AM (#34290850)

        A tiny UAV can't carry any meaningful cargo

              A comment which shows a surprising lack of imagination. How much does $5 million worth of diamonds weigh? Or how about large numbers of flights carrying small amounts of say, cocaine or heroin?

        We have numerous technologies for shooting down missiles

              Yes but this is a model aircraft traveling at 35mph and 100ft in the air, with virtually no heat signature (especially the electric ones powered by lithium batteries) and very little radar signature. How will your 5 million dollar missile distinguish between this and ground clutter?

              As for infrastructure - right. You won't bust bunkers with this, but I wonder what a couple of them filled with incendiary material could do to a petrochemical tank farm or an oil refinery...

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by drinkypoo (153816)

          A tiny UAV can't carry any meaningful cargo

          A comment which shows a surprising lack of imagination. How much does $5 million worth of diamonds weigh? Or how about large numbers of flights carrying small amounts of say, cocaine or heroin?

          A single decent small drone with very short range is a thousand dollars. So you see, I have imagined this quite a bit.

          We have numerous technologies for shooting down missiles

          Yes but this is a model aircraft traveling at 35mph and 100ft in the air, with virtually no heat signature (especially the electric ones powered by lithium batteries) and very little radar signature. How will your 5 million dollar missile distinguish between this and ground clutter?

          Your battery-powered drones are not going to be making any border crossings unless they are big enough for a Phalanx CIWS to shoot down, and similar but smaller systems could be put together. I mean, am I the only one who remembers two college students calling themselves U.S. Mechatronics putting together a sentry gun which just holds an airsoft gun? You'd alter the code a bit and you'd give

          • Generally I agree with you. However, a small UAV with a range of say.....500 meters would be all you need to smuggle across the border from Mexico to California in the urban areas.

            The thing about that is that the payload is WAY too small for what they want to do.

          • The first attempts at stealth aircraft during WWII used wood as a construction material. One example would be the Horten brothers air wings. Wood absorbs radar waves to a large degree reducing RCS. You can also use composite materials to manufacture such aircraft. Many people have the facilities to construct either. The issue is the engine and the control systems.

            Systems which use bullets to knock down aircraft are useless if the aircraft is flying high enough. This is one reason why we use missiles after

  • As others have noted most of these are knock-offs of US and Israeli designs, some of which have been flying since Vietnam - as is the case with many weapons systems of this type, sometimes it is inevitable you will lose one, and it will be sufficiently undamaged as to be a great aid in reverse engineering a copy.

  • An almost tyrant government with great military power. This never ended well for humanity whenever it happened in history.
    • Actually, that's mostly the only way things have ever ended up even remotely good.
    • by aliquis (678370)

      An almost tyrant government with great military power. This never ended well for humanity whenever it happened in history

      ... but it's only an issue than it happens to you?

      (Say hi to Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, Korea, .. :D)

      Maybe they just want to defend themselves. Wait and complain only if they don't. Your own "defense force" isn't really defensive.

      (And neither are ours, why the fuck do we have CV-90s and such in Afghanistan? Should have medical equipment, drills, food supplies, agricultural machinery, blankets, tents, ...)

  • but they are the ones building large new military forces at the moment and we are trapped in endless cost overruns and delays.

    • by rikkards (98006)

      When you have a good portion of your population never seeing a paved road in their life it is no wonder they can afford it.

    • by couchslug (175151)

      "but they are the ones building large new military forces at the moment and we are trapped in endless cost overruns and delays."

      Bit of an asserted conclusion there. :) "Having" cost overruns and delays doesn't equate to "trapped", and we have been at war with Iraq at varying levels since 1990. We have a highly experienced combat force, plenty of capable systems, and no existential military threats.

      China BTW isn't a problem if we don't fight them, and I'm enjoying the changing reality because I reject the tr

    • by sgt101 (120604)

      Ok - the US spends $663B a year on military forces.

      China spends (possibly) as much as $140B a year (in equivalent purchasing power).

  • Go after the command and control satellites? Or create drones with the express purpose of hunting other drones?
  • So what? The J-10 is also faster than an A-10. The Predator and Reaper are designed to maximize loitering time not get in and get out quickly or for aerial combat.

  • Chinese missile tests.

    Sure, they've got some Terminator in the sky, who's faster, more powerful, and will not stop, until you are dead.

    The problems is, it seems like they are more concerned with image than actually making something that is reliable. I'm not sure quality control exists there. And if it does, it's piss-poor at best.

    They maybe lamborghini's of the sky, but I'll be happy cruising my them in my '68 Mustang while they're stuck on the side of the freeway.

  • With small drones as offered by the Chinese, there should be a large number of organizations who are interested in surveillence (possibly illegal) to insure that smuggling can continue without fear of discovery. Watch the enemy is the keyword.

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