Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Chinese mystery drone spotted attached to H-6 bomber

Observers have spotted a Chinese new WZ-8 high-speed reconnaissance drone under the fuselage of a People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Xian H-6 bomber.

The WZ-8 is reportedly designed to operate at speeds three times faster than sound, soaring at an altitude of 30 kilometers.

Primarily intended for strategic aerial reconnaissance missions across Southeast Asia, including areas such as Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan, the WZ-8 will play a crucial role in gathering vital intelligence.

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Unlike conventional drones, the WZ-8 cannot independently take off. Instead, it relies on air-launching from a Xi’an H-6MW “mothership”, which initiates the launch sequence once achieving the required speed and altitude. The drone then engages its rocket motors, propelling it to its operational speed and altitude.

Artist’s conception

While bearing some resemblance to other reconnaissance vehicles like the Lockheed D-21 drone, the WZ-8 stands out with its unique dimensions, propulsion system, and speed.

Captures via Weibo

This high-altitude, high-speed drone fills a critical gap in intelligence gathering, especially in scenarios where satellite coverage may be limited or impractical. Its ability to conduct prolonged flights over specific regions enhances situational awareness and strategic planning in complex combat environments.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov is the editor-in-chief of Defence Blog. He is a journalist, an accredited defense advisor, and a consultant. His background as a defense advisor and consultant adds a unique perspective to his journalistic endeavors, ensuring that his reporting is well-informed and authoritative. read more

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