posted on Apr, 5 2018 @ 03:05 PM
On the 3rd of this month, Global Times (a Chinese paper) had an interview with Shi Wen, the lead engineer for the Cai Hong series of UAVs for CASC,
Chinese Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (a chinese defense contractor). In the interview, he stated China needed UAVs for its carriers
and that China had been working on the problem for some time. The UAVs were needed for the carriers so that the Chinese could have a strong navy,
paraphrasing the article.
"Although the military has not released any information, research into carrier-based UAVs started long ago, and ship-based UAVs on destroyers
and frigates have already been used in training," Li said.
Shi told the Global Times that "considerable resources are needed in carrier-based UAV research," so it would be risky to attempt without
The note about cost is interesting: the Chinese gov is paying for this. That means they think they need it for their carriers and carriers are a
I've sat on this because it needed a second source. Jane's just provided some follow-up and one particularly interesting bit:
In fact, commercial satellite imagery captured in November 2016 shows a UAV at a catapult test site of the People’s Liberation Army Navy Air
Force (PLANAF) base at Huangdicun. The site has two catapult test tracks installed side by side, one of which is assessed to be steam powered, and the
It would seems aircraft carriers are a priority. It will be interesting to see what the Chinese carrier air wing will end up looking like.
A throw away tidbit from the interview above was that the next iteration in the CaiHong series, the CH-X, will be unveiled at the Zhuhai airshow this