|Chinese Stealth Drone Lijian|
Following the release of internet photos of the Lijian, China's first stealth combat drone, Peng Tinghua, a military analyst, stressed on his mircroblog that this unmanned aerial vehicle will be able to attack all potential targets within the Western Pacific region.
The Lijian is China's response to the push of most advanced countries to roll out unmanned aerial vehicles. The design of the aircraft relied heavily on Northrop Grumman's Dassault-designed X-47B, by the looks of the official photos released by the PLA Daily, the Hong Kong-based Wenweipo said.
Peng stated that the range of the Lijian is about 8,000km, according to China Aviation News. It is not able to compare with the Global Hawk, another unmanned aerial vehicle designed by Northrop Grumman with a range of 14,001 kilometers, but the Lijian is still able to attack all potential target within the Western Pacific with a combat radius of 4,000 kilometers. "Since it will not be necessary for China to attack any targets within Europe or the continental United States," said Peng, "the Lijian will be enough for us to face potential threats over the Taiwan Strait, South China Sea and Western Pacific."
Like the X-47B, the Lijian and other types of stealth combat drones can also be operated from the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. Under the direction of Beidou Navigation System, precision attacks can also be launched by Chinese unmanned aerial vehicles in the future. With enough confidence in China's defense industries, Peng stated that the PLA will eventually surpass the United States and operate its own Global Hawk around the world.