The People’s Liberation Army Navy of China has begun deploying Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) aboard its ships. China has been interested in developing UAVs since the 1960s when it shot down a US Air Force Ryan Firebee unmanned jet propelled reconnaissance aircraft. China is believed to have constructed a prototype of WuZhen-5 through reverse engineering effort. In 2006, China displayed a model of the indigenously built drone at the Zhuhai Air Show and now every major manufacturer for the Chinese military has a research centre devoted to drones. Chinese interest in advanced UAV technology continues as she has reportedly requested for access to the US RQ-170 Sentinel stealth UAV that was brought down in Iran last year. Chinese hackers have also been spying on the US Department of Defense to obtain information on UAV strategy and other related data. China is also reported considering building less advanced UAVs for the export market.
UAVs in the Chinese Navy
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