(MENAFN- Asia Times) China has unveiled a new long-duration surveillance and precision strike drone, known as the KVD002, an aerial weapon that could have significant implications in the event of a conflict over Taiwan.
State media outlet China Daily reported that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Ground Force has unveiled its first combat drone that can cooperate with helicopters in combat operations, provide battlefield intelligence and fire support, guide attack helicopters to their targets and make short takeoffs and landings on a plateau.
The KVD002 can carry two AR-1 air-to-surface missiles under its wings and reconnaissance devices beneath its main body, according to the China Daily report published earlier this month. The new drone is based on the CH-4, China's bestselling unmanned combat aircraft.
China Daily notes that the CH-4 model can stay aloft for 30 hours, has a maximum speed of 230 kilometers per hour and can carry nearly 350 kilograms of weapons and equipment, including missiles, bombs, radars, cameras and civilian payloads. It also notes that the CH-4 has accumulated over 20,000 hours of flight time worldwide.
Global Times, a Chinese Communist Party-run publication, reported this month that the KVD002 has likely participated in patrols and exercises around Taiwan since 2022 but was previously misidentified as the CH-4. The report suggests that the KVD002 is a CH-4 variant specially customized for the PLA Ground Force.
The CH-4 has been sold to more than 10 countries, according to the People's Daily. Image: Twitter
Neither the PLA Ground Force nor the Aerospace CH UAV company has officially commented on the relationship between the KVD002 and the CH-4, according to Global Times.
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