Military drones: China pushes its pawns

Wing-Loong-PterodactylInformation from the fall of a drone in northeastern Nigeria was relayed by some sites a few weeks ago. This drone, Chinese manufacturing, was probably used in the fight against the insurgency raging in the region. The drone in question, a CH-3, was still equipped with 2 2 type AR-1 air-to-ground missiles, a copy Chinese American Hellfire. Nigeria, but also Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, and perhaps soon the Algeria, the list of countries buying Chinese drones elongates to the point of alerting Washington. Obama has announced the easing of sales of drones Americans abroad to America’s allies.

The global market for military drones to reach $5.6 billion in 2022

IDEX 2015, large military lounge which has just concluded in Abu Dhabi was a new opportunity for manufacturers of drones to present their latest models. Once more, Chinese builders were present in the hall reserved for vehicles without drivers. Facing the United States are reluctant to deliver drones armed to third parties, in Europe including the industry remains handicapped by the delay by their armies and finally Israel, China mark the points on the international market.

CH - 4, Chinese rival of the MQ-1 Predator.

CH – 4, Chinese rival of the MQ-1 Predator.

The number of military drones designed by Chinese industrialists is itself staggering. Wikipedia has counted well over 230 developers and manufacturers of drones in China. Two thirds are private companies, but found all major offices and Chinese aircraft manufacturers, especially in the segment of MALE drones (medium altitude long endurance), the category of the Predator which many countries would like to have. The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) offers its CH-4 market, China Aviation Industry Corp. (AVIC) for its part offers the Wing Loong (Pterodactyl) I. Countries such as Pakistan, which was was already equipped with the smaller CH – 4 are now interested in these Chinese MALE. Countries that could not get U.S. Predator, like the Algeria and the Jordan might turn to China to meet the needs of their armies fighting against insurgents.


Lighter than the CH-4, CH-3 ucav can fly at 220 km/h for a dozen hours.

Of multiple applications for export of General Atomics, the designer of Reaper and Predator, have been retoqués by Washington. Only the United Kingdom, the France and the Italy got a few copies of the American drone and only the United Kingdom, allied most faithful is, was able to obtain the “privilege” of Uncle Sam to arm its drones. A serious loss of profits for the American arms industry, but also a sacred hand to China from a geopolitical point of view. The United States applied to its sales of drones the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), deals with non-proliferation missiles that can carry 500 kg military payload to more than 300 km. A limit which flanged U.S. exports of drones to 144 million over the period 20015-2010. It is little while this market should reach $ 5.26 billion by 2022, according to Frost & Sullivan. Too little for president Obama who would strengthen the capacity of its allies in the fight against the Islamists by facilitating the export of drones ‘Made in USA’, and incidentally to filling the coffers of its arms industry.
Translation : Bing Translator

Sources :
“Obama administration to allow sales of armed drones to allies”, The Washington Post, February 17, 2015

“Obama To Sell Armed Drones To More Countries”, Defense One, February 17, 2015

“U.S. Firm Denied Request to Market Drones to Jordan”, Foreign Policy, February 5, 2015

“Chinese UAV Crashes in Nigeria”, UAS Vision, February 2, 2015

“Global military UAV market will shrink then grow to $5.26 billion by 2022 – report”, DefenseWeb, February 8, 2014

“Why Is the U.S. So Stingy With Its Drones? It’s Costing Us.”, NewRepublic, July 2, 2014

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