Harbin BZK-005 Drone Intercepted by Japanese F-15 Fighter Aircraft: Are the Chinese Close to Achieving UAS/UAV/Drone Aircraft-Parity with the United States?

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By David Crane
defrev (at) gmail (dot) com

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Image Credit: Sunday Times

September 16, 2013

The Sunday Times published an article yesterday on a Sino-Japanese incident involving a Harbin BZK-005 UAS/UAV/drone aircraft getting a bit too close to Japan, close enough to cause the Japanese to scramble F-15 fighter aircraft to intercept it. The part that's interesting is the BZK-005's apparent, which would appear to at first glance to exceed those of the General Atomics MQ-1 Predator UAS, however that's not really the case, since the MQ-1 Predator carries two (2) Lockheed Martin AGM-114R Multi-Purpose HellFire II missiles, the more advanced and capable General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle carries up to four (4) AGM-114R HellFire II missiles, and the real bad boy, the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper/Predator B multi-mission ISR and strike UAS/UAV, carries up to 14 AGM-114R HellFire II's. In fact, the MQ-9 can carry up to 3,850 pounds and fly at speeds of up to 276 mph (444 km/h).

So, it would appear that the Chinese are still a little ways off from achieving actual UAS/UAV-parity with the United States. Here's the Sunday Times' graphic, that DefenseReview (DR) found to be a bit sensationalistic:

In other words, the BZK-005 doesn't worry us, even though the Harbin is obviously a harbinger of things to come–but there are systems the Chinese military is currently working on that do.

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Harbin BZK-005 Drone Intercepted by Japanese F-15 Fighter Aircraft: Are the Chinese Close to Achieving UAS/UAV/Drone Aircraft-Parity with the United States? by

About David Crane

David Crane started publishing online in 2001. Since that time, governments, military organizations, Special Operators (i.e. professional trigger pullers), agencies, and civilian tactical shooters the world over have come to depend on Defense Review as the authoritative source of news and information on "the latest and greatest" in the field of military defense and tactical technology and hardware, including tactical firearms, ammunition, equipment, gear, and training.

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