China Makes Progress on SAR Drones

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The Beijing-based Beihang Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Technology is now seeking the first international order for its export-specific BZK-005E multirole medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (MALE UAV), following the successful grant of an export licence for the air vehicle earlier in September.

The BZK-005E is a modernised derivative of the indigenously developed BZK-005 platform – also known as the Changying (Long Eagle) – in widespread use across the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) air, land, and sea services for long-range reconnaissance and electronic intelligence (ELINT) missions, made its public debut at the latest iteration of Airshow China in Zhuhai from 6–11 November.

Beihang UAS is quoting a flight endurance of 40 hours when the BZK-005E is in its reconnaissance configuration with a chin-mounted electro-optical infrared (EO/IR) ball turret, although the air vehicle features a 370 kg payload capacity that enables it to be reconfigured for other mission types, including all-weather intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) with a chin-mounted synthetic aperture radar (SAR) system and a ventral EO/IR turret, ELINT, and communications relay.

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