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Chinese PLA Air Force practices new methods of drone combat

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Chinese PLA Air Force practices new methods of drone combat

By Global Times
August 16, 2023

STARTING in 2023, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force has been practicing new methods of drone combat, including remote controlled takeoffs and landings and jointly operating with other military services and branches.

In a recent exercise held in the deserts of Northwest China, a GJ-2 armed reconnaissance drone conducted reconnaissance and strike training in a realistic combat scenario, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Sunday.

An armed reconnaissance drone belonging to a Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force unit in northwestern China takes off during a training exercise in 2022. SCREENGRAB FROM CHINA CENTRAL TELEVISION VIA GLOBAL TIMES
An armed reconnaissance drone belonging to a Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force unit in northwestern China takes off during a training exercise in 2022. SCREENGRAB FROM CHINA CENTRAL TELEVISION VIA GLOBAL TIMES

The drone operators, operating the drone remotely from a location far away from the airfield, were tasked to search, detect, identify, locate and attack multiple targets within a single sortie.

This kind of remote control is a new combat pattern developed by the regiment this year, CCTV reported.

When needed, the ground station can connect with the aircraft from anywhere and complete tasks including takeoff and landing as well as other missions, Yu Ruichao, a member of a regiment affiliated with the air force of the PLA Western Theater Command, said in the report.

This means that the PLA Air Force has established a comprehensive command and control system over drones featuring long-range communications relays, including satellite communications, a Chinese military expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Monday.

The drone regiment also carried out joint exercises with other military services and branches, including long-range rocket units of the PLA Army, special forces, and manned aircraft, CCTV said.

Armed reconnaissance drones can provide reconnaissance and target guidance data that can maximize other military units' capabilities, experts said.

"Manned aircraft fly faster than drones, but they also have shorter windows in searching for targets. In noncontact precision strike missions, [drones and manned aircraft] can make up for each other's shortcomings," said Li Yang, a member of a regiment.

Fu Qianshao, a Chinese military aviation expert, told the Global Times that the PLA Air Force is exploring and practicing all kinds of different tactics for drone combat.

As the PLA's first armed reconnaissance drone unit, the regiment also serves as a talent cultivation base, CCTV reported.

"We can transfer personnel to other units entirely and systematically, including drone operators, link planners, staff officers and support personnel," said Zhang Huipeng, a member of the regiment.

Drones, large and small, are widely commissioned across the PLA, including the Army and the Navy, according to media reports.


 

Chinese PLA Air Force practices new methods of drone combat

By Global Times
August 16, 2023

STARTING in 2023, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force has been practicing new methods of drone combat, including remote controlled takeoffs and landings and jointly operating with other military services and branches.

In a recent exercise held in the deserts of Northwest China, a GJ-2 armed reconnaissance drone conducted reconnaissance and strike training in a realistic combat scenario, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Sunday.

An armed reconnaissance drone belonging to a Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force unit in northwestern China takes off during a training exercise in 2022. SCREENGRAB FROM CHINA CENTRAL TELEVISION VIA GLOBAL TIMES's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force unit in northwestern China takes off during a training exercise in 2022. SCREENGRAB FROM CHINA CENTRAL TELEVISION VIA GLOBAL TIMES
An armed reconnaissance drone belonging to a Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force unit in northwestern China takes off during a training exercise in 2022. SCREENGRAB FROM CHINA CENTRAL TELEVISION VIA GLOBAL TIMES

The drone operators, operating the drone remotely from a location far away from the airfield, were tasked to search, detect, identify, locate and attack multiple targets within a single sortie.

This kind of remote control is a new combat pattern developed by the regiment this year, CCTV reported.

When needed, the ground station can connect with the aircraft from anywhere and complete tasks including takeoff and landing as well as other missions, Yu Ruichao, a member of a regiment affiliated with the air force of the PLA Western Theater Command, said in the report.

This means that the PLA Air Force has established a comprehensive command and control system over drones featuring long-range communications relays, including satellite communications, a Chinese military expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Monday.

The drone regiment also carried out joint exercises with other military services and branches, including long-range rocket units of the PLA Army, special forces, and manned aircraft, CCTV said.

Armed reconnaissance drones can provide reconnaissance and target guidance data that can maximize other military units' capabilities, experts said.

"Manned aircraft fly faster than drones, but they also have shorter windows in searching for targets. In noncontact precision strike missions, [drones and manned aircraft] can make up for each other's shortcomings," said Li Yang, a member of a regiment.

Fu Qianshao, a Chinese military aviation expert, told the Global Times that the PLA Air Force is exploring and practicing all kinds of different tactics for drone combat.

As the PLA's first armed reconnaissance drone unit, the regiment also serves as a talent cultivation base, CCTV reported.

"We can transfer personnel to other units entirely and systematically, including drone operators, link planners, staff officers and support personnel," said Zhang Huipeng, a member of the regiment.

Drones, large and small, are widely commissioned across the PLA, including the Army and the Navy, according to media reports.


Is this a joke??

STARTING in 2023, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force has been practicing new methods of drone combat, including remote controlled takeoffs and landings and jointly operating with other military services and branches.

So you are saying before 2023, PLA does not conduct cross branch exercise with drone and remote controlled take off and landing?? Then what are PLA using drone for? Taking selfie??
 
Is this a joke??



So you are saying before 2023, PLA does not conduct cross branch exercise with drone and remote controlled take off and landing?? Then what are PLA using drone for? Taking selfie??
What is cross branch exercise?
 
What is cross branch exercise?
exercise like Red Flag an Army-Air Force exercise. It's also called Joint Exercise (As in Joint Army-Navy Exercise), although joint exercise can also be from several different countries instead of same country different branches, hence I used cross branch instead of "Joint"

Most country run cross branch FTX to enhance their interoperability.
 
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