China recently tested its XS101 loitering munition, known as a kamikaze drone.
This new weapon system exhibits striking similarities to the American-made Switchblade 300, indicating China’s strides in developing comparable technology within the unmanned aerial systems domain.
The XS101 loitering munition, akin in design to its American counterpart, boasts an external resemblance to the U.S.-produced Switchblade 300. Like the original American system, this Chinese drone is deployed via a bazooka-like launcher, showcasing parallel launch mechanisms between the two platforms.
The new drone system was developed by the AOMEI technology.
During its recent test, the XS101 was launched from an altitude of 4,600 meters, demonstrating precision and capability by successfully hitting its designated target. Equipped with a nose-mounted camera, the drone provides the operator with real-time visual feedback, enabling them to monitor the target area until the moment of impact. This technology grants the operator the autonomy to navigate the drone to a specified location or engage a moving target, offering a level of operational flexibility.
🇨🇳XS101 loitering munition was launched at an altitude of 4,600 meters and successfully hit the target.
(via 北京昂飞科技有限公司 / Beijing Angfei Technology Co., Ltd.) pic.twitter.com/w3PidDn23j
— Jesus Roman (@jesusfroman) November 26, 2023
The autonomous capabilities of the XS101 are notable, allowing it to navigate towards a designated area or target without constant human intervention. However, operators retain control to make course adjustments or abort missions if unexpected circumstances, such as the presence of civilians in the vicinity, arise.
The similarities between the XS101 and the U.S.-originated Switchblade 300 underscore China’s progress in developing sophisticated drone technology.