China deployed long range UAV to a contested island in the South China Sea

Harbin BZK-005 Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
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China deployed BZK-005 high altitude, long range UAV  to a contested island in the South China Sea. The Chinese BZK-005 drone was spotted on  airport runway  in the South China Sea.

The newly obtained satellite images from ImageSat International (ISI) show a Chinese Harbin BZK-005 long range reconnaissance drone on Woody Island in the South China Sea.

The drone can remain airborne for up to 40 hours.

The Chinese drone did not appear armed in the satellite image taken last month. For the time being, the BZK-005 does not have the capability to fire missiles, unlike other drones in China’s inventory.

satellite imagery
satellite imagery

The BZK-005 high altitude, long range UAV is a reconnaissance aircraft designed by Beijing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics and Harbin Aircraft Industry (Group) Co., Ltd. It is used by the Chinese Navy.

At Zhuhai International Airshow 2006, video and models were demonstrated to the public regarding this UAV. BZK-005 has a few stealth features integrated into its design. It is believed that a satellite data link antenna is held in its large upper body dome.[2] Under the body there are optic-electric sensor systems. It is expected that BZK-005 has cruising speed of around 170 km/h, service ceiling 8,000 m, max take off weight is around 1,200 kg, max payload over 150 kg.

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