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China exhibition shows latest military advances in drone technology


China exhibition shows latest advances in drone technology, especially for military use

More than 300 unmanned aerial vehicle models on display at conference in Mianyang, a major defence industry baseOne lightweight suicide drone can be carried and launched by an infantry soldier while another’s flapping-wing design has ‘range of uses’China’s militaryLiu ZhenPublished: 1:00pm, 4 Oct, 2023Why you can trust SCMP

Beijing displayed an array of new military drones at an exhibition in southwest China last week, a technology the PLA considers a key area to advance.

More than 300 models of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – many for military uses – were on display at the UAV Industry Development Conference in the Science and Technology City in Mianyang, a major defence industry base in Sichuan province.

One small high-speed drone, or loitering munition, can carry out a suicide bombing at 174km (108 miles) per hour, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

The quadcopter drone has a maximum flight time of 30 minutes and is equipped with automatic tracking and location devices for a precision strike. It can carry 500 grams of TNT – enough to take out a normal car.

The compact drone weighs only 1.8kg (about 4lb), and comes with a backpack that would enable an infantry soldier to carry four of them at the same time.

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