UAVs are turning into formidable military equipment every passing day. Imagining a modern battlefield without the employment of drones is not possible. The recently concluded Airshow China 2021 was a manifestation of the same point. Numerous Chinese UAVs were introduced to the world by the Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC). Drones with the ability to make intercontinental flights, soar to near-space altitudes, and capture high-resolution images even in heavily guarded areas were the centre of attention.
However, the centre stage, amid all these technologically advanced drones, belonged to the GJ-11 Stealth Drone. The drone has been worked upon since 2013 and boasts a massive wingspan of 46 feet (14 m). An engine single turbofan engine powers it. Unfortunately, the in-depth analysis of the drone is still not possible as it remains primarily curtained from the world. However, speculations are ripe that it is believed that the drone has a range of 2,485 miles (4,000 km) and a top speed of 621 mph (1,000 kph), and above all, stealth capabilities.
Nonetheless, it was the first time the mighty GJ-11 was available for the world to see. Loaded with weapon capabilities between the landing gears, the drone’s two bays can each hold up to four ammunitions, which could be precision-guided glide bombs, The Global Times reported. The Hongdu Aviation Industry boasted off with promotional videos of the GJ-11’s capabilities. One of the many videos was shared by The Drive.
With top-of-the-line capabilities of deploying decoys instead of firing ammunition, taking flight from amphibious assault ships, and many other abilities left the onlookers in awe of the magnificent machine set to become an aerial force to be reckoned with. The only drawback this drone has is that despite its size, it could not carry enough firepower to take down an enemy ship and, therefore, could be tasked to constrain the ship’s resources.
Another feature that has the observers on tenterhooks is the ability of this drone to employ signal jammers or directed energy weapons using beaming airwaves. In a nutshell, the GJ-11’s capabilities are not yet completely known to the world, but one conclusion can be drawn is that the Chinese and American vision of drones is not very different. Both are eyeing to use UAVs to claim unparalleled air superiority. But, It is also worth noting that China, with the development of such drones, is working strenuously to ward off any presence the US wants to cement over Asian skies.