A Chinese company unveiled what its chief designer described as a “flying grenade” at an airshow in the southern city of Zhuhai this week.
The CH-817 is a mini drone weighing just 28 ounces. It can be used for both reconnaissance and attack missions, according to the Global Times, which is published by the Chinese Communist Party.
“We can call it a flying grenade,” said Shi Wen, designer of the CH drone series.
The CH-817 can fly for up to 15 minutes and be carried by individual soldiers, according to The Washington Free Beacon.
— Wu Xiaoping 吴小平 (@SilingWu) September 28, 2021
The Chinese manufacturer CH UAV also showed off its CH-6 drone, which has a much longer endurance of 20 hours. The stealth drone can reach a top speed of 435 miles per hour.
“The drone can also carry out anti-submarine missions, maritime patrols, early warning missions and close-range air support,” the Times reported.
Another set of photos of the 🇨🇳 reconnaissance & strike CASC Rainbow CH-6 (Cai Hong) UAV in Zhuhai 2021 with different ammunitions pic.twitter.com/EokHXg04vQ
— Jesus Roman (@jesusfroman) September 24, 2021
Concerning the CH-817 attack drone, the former U.S. Air Force fighter pilot said that these “suicide drones” are “everywhere now, so it’s nothing new.
“It’s just going to change the way the battlefield is run from this point forward,” he said.
Regarding the CH-6, Venable noted that it does not have stealth capabilities and that “400 miles an hour is not really that fast.” It is comparable to the U.S. Reaper drone.
— New York Post (@nypost) January 3, 2020
Further, he pointed out that the advertised top speed cannot be sustained for long flights without running out of fuel.
Nevertheless, according to the Free Beacon, “Chinese drone buildup is an area of growing concern for defense planners, who say China could use a massive drone ‘swarm’ to take out U.S. or Taiwanese naval and air defenses.”
In fact, “war games conducted by American military strategists show allied forces losing the upper hand on China,” the Beacon reported.
The Chinese have been selling their drones the world over, including here in the U.S.
Axios reported in September that the Secret Service bought eight drones manufactured by China-based Da-Jiang Innovations on July 26, three days after the Defense Department released a statement saying DJI products “pose potential threats to national security.”
The FBI also purchased 19 DJI drones in July.
“Given everything we know about the Chinese Communist Party and its companies, there is absolutely no excuse for any government agency to use DJI drones, or any other drones manufactured in countries identified as national security threats,” GOP Sen. Marco Rubio told Axios.
Last week, Republican Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, an Afghanistan War veteran, sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland demanding answers for the purchases. He noted that DJI has been flagged by the U.S. intelligence community as a spy risk.
We need answers re: why Secret Service would buy drones from a company based in communist China known to spy on users and share that data with the #CCP government.
There are huge national security concerns here.https://t.co/BswTRDobJp
— Jim Banks (@RepJimBanks) September 24, 2021
“As a Member of the House Armed Services Committee who has been briefed on the cyber security threat that these Chinese-made drones pose, I am very concerned that these drones will be used by malevolent actors within the Chinese Communist Party to spy on individuals the Secret Service is charged with protecting,” Banks wrote, according to the Free Beacon.
“These individuals include President Joe Biden and his immediate family, Vice President Kamala Harris and her immediate family, former presidents Donald Trump, Barrack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter and their spouses, and other visiting heads of foreign states.”
Venable agrees that the Chinese Communist Party will use the drones Chinese companies sell to the U.S. and other nations to gather intelligence.
“Every Chinese company works for the government — the CCP government — and it’s one of those things that you cannot avoid,” he said.
“Anybody who buys them is buying into a Chinese network that is looking to collect as much information, not just about what they’re looking at, but about what China wants to know about their countries.”
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