China’s Robot Armada

08.01.13

Categorie: Air, China, David Axe, Robots |
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by DAVID AXE

Focus Taiwan and other media are claiming China is massing robotic J-6 “attack” planes at an air base near Taiwan.

The reports are correct, in principle. The J-6 — a copy of the 1950s-vintage Soviet MiG-19 fighter — was once an attack plane and now serves in China strictly as a trainer and as a remote-controlled drone.

But it’s not an combat drone akin to the U.S. Predator or Reaper. No, the robo-J-6 is a target drone in the vein of the American QF-4 and QF-16. It’s meant to fly simple maneuvers as target practice for fighter pilots.

The real news here is the increasing realism of China’s aerial combat training — hence the high demand for robotic targets.

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2 Responses to “China’s Robot Armada”

  1. Paralus says:

    Are they going to be used as fighters for dogfights? Nope

    Can they be used as target-drones? Yes.

    What sort of message would it send to Taiwan for the PLAAF to launch a dozen sorties over the East China Sea and shoot down the drones?

    What else could these be used as? Decoy drones.

    Wave after wave of these sent, perhaps with Beidou GPS navigation back-up, to overwhelm Taiwanese air defense systems or target airfields, etc.

    Just enough fuel to cross the Taiwanese Straights, loaded with 250kg bombs, remotely piloted or with Beidou guidance.

  2. jimmy says:

    Many super or ultra paranoid anti-PRC pundits are constantly or endlessly blabbering as if war is about to break out over the Taiwan Strait at any second. Why would the PLAAF employ MiG-19 type aircraft for combat actions when it is always more logical to use cruise missiles. After all, a cm cannot be kept in storage forever. USE THEM OR SCRAP THEM.

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