China Launches Swarm Of Explosive ‘Suicide Drones’ From Back Of A Lorry

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China Launches Swarm Of Explosive 'Suicide Drones' From Back Of A LorryCAEIT

After reports earlier this month that they had developed grenade-launching drones, the Chinese army has taken things to the next level by unveiling a new fleet of ‘suicide drones’.

The cheerfully named UAVs were reportedly tested by the People’s Liberation Army last month. A video of the test shows nearly 50 of the drones being shot out from the back of a lorry – a bit like the world’s most metal carrier pigeons – while a few also appeared to be deployed from a helicopter.


An anonymous source told the South China Morning Post that the drones, which could be controlled remotely from a tablet, were designed to swarm enemy targets. Oh, and they’re also packed with explosives.

According to The Drive, the drones shown in the video resemble China’s CH-901 drone model. The suicide drones, which are officially called ‘loitering munitions’, are pretty small – they measure about four feet long and 20 pounds in weight – and can reportedly fly for two hours at a top speed of 93 mph. They were first unveiled at a Chinese arms exhibition event in 2016, with Popular Mechanics reporting that they looked to be a game-changer for drone warfare development.

It’s not the first time this kind of thing has been tested in China, with the China Academy of Electronics and Technology Studies carrying out an experiment involving 200 kamikaze drones in 2017. However, according to a PLA insider, the drones aren’t ready to be deployed in real conflict just yet.


The source told the Post:

They’re still in the early development stage and the technical problems are yet to be resolved.

One of the key concerns is the communications system and how to stop it from getting jammed.

Weibo/Popular Mechanics

The Post reports that the fleet has been developed by the state-owned China Electronics Technology Group Corporation, and forms part of the government’s ‘military civil fusion strategy’. Observers have claimed that the strategy aims to develop the People’s Liberation Army into a ‘world-class military’ by 2049, by working with research institutes, academics, and private companies to develop cutting edge military technology.


A similar strategy has been employed by the United States, which has given lucrative military contracts to big tech companies like Alphabet and Amazon.

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Topics: Technology, China, drone, military

Hannah Smith
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