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Report: China Developing Advanced Drone Fleet -- Defense Tech
The U.S. may own the skies now when it comes to drones, but China is fast developing strategic and tactical unmanned aerial vehicles capable of supporting ground, sea and air forces, and also subbing for satellite communications in the event they are taken out.
That’s the report from the Project 2049 Institute, a five-year-old think tank devoted to researching and tracking social, political, military and technological trends in the Asian Pacific.
In current numbers and capabilities, the Chinese fleet – estimated by the institute to be about 280 strong in 2011 – is no more than a quarter of the size of the U.S fleet. Published reports have indicated there are now at least 800 large drones – Predators, Reapers and the high-altitude Global Hawks among them – in operation around the world. That does not even count the smaller drones like the Raven that troops are able to launch by hand.
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Update #1: China's Drone Swarms Rise to Challenge US Power -- Live Science
Update #2: Study Examines China’s Expansive UAV Fleet -- Defense News
Update #3: China investing in destabilising UAV capabilities: report -- Flight Global
Update #4: China's Drone Swarms Rise to Challenge US Power -- Tech News Daily
WNU Editor: The website for the author's of this report (Project 2049 Institute) is here.