Saturday, May 28, 2016

China using drones with stealth capabilities in the South China Sea

China has deployed a drone with stealth capabilities for the first time to a disputed island in the South China Sea, according to new satellite imagery.

The images, obtained from ImageSat International (ISI), show the deployment of the Chinese Harbin BZK-005 long-range reconnaissance drone on Woody Island. It's thought the drone doesn't yet have the capability to fire missiles, and it doesn't appear to be armed in the satellite images. The drone can remain airborne for 40 hours, and is primarily used for surveillance.
Further satellite images taken of the island show that HQ-9 surface-to-air missiles have been transferred to other locations.
The report comes just a day after reports that China is planning to dispatch nuclear submarines into the Pacific for the first time, amid heightened tensions with the US.

The US has stepped up its deterrence measures around the South China Sea in recent months.