According to a new Global Times report, a video has surfaced on Chinese social media that depicts a mysterious flying wing stealth drone for future aircraft carriers.
Friday marked the 50th anniversary of Shenyang Aircraft Corporation's J-8 fighter jet, which the company, a subsidiary of state-owned Aviation Industry of China (AVIC), published a promotional video highlighting past success and provided a glimpse of China aerospace in the 21st century.
"In the latter part of the video, which turned from real life documentary to computer-generated images, a stealth drone featuring a flying wing design was shown operating on an aircraft carrier. The drone seems large, as its landing gear is as tall as a person, the video showed," the Times reported Sunday.
#Chine: le projet de #drone #furtif en forme d'aile volante conçu pour un porte-avion avance.— Claude Fouquet (@ClaudeFP) July 9, 2019
De nouvelles images apparaissent dans une #video de Shenyang Aircraft Corporation.
Il ressemble beaucoup au #nEUROn de @Dassault_OnAir et au X-47B de @northropgrumman ...#Defense pic.twitter.com/lTkczxhUNx
A Chinese military expert who asked not to be named informed the Times that Shenyang has the expertise in designing a ship-based flying wing drone, so officials are expecting to see the drone undergo test flights in the near future.
Shenyang also designed China's first carrier-borne aircraft, the J-15, and is working on the J-31, a fifth-generation stealth fighter that will be launched from carriers.
"China's no stranger to either flying wing designs on its drones or to stealth drones. The People's Liberation Army has also begun to test the Sky Hawk drone as well as the CH-7, the latter of which is also purported to operate from carriers. Shenyang is also rumored to have developed the Sharp Sword flying wing stealth drone," the Times noted, as per a report from Sputnik.
The anonymous expert said the new drones would be a multi-mission aircraft: able to conduct land or sea attacks, aerial refueling, and intelligence missions.
The race for flying wing drones has taken off in the last five years, with the US testing the X-47B and MQ-25 Stingray, both will be operated from aircraft carriers.
The benefits of these wing-shaped drones are no fuselage and tails, allow for subsonic cruising as well as a low radar profile.
Chinese military officials are interested in the next-generation human-crewed and unmanned aircraft on or off carriers to deter Western powers and push them out of the Eastern Hemisphere. More importantly, China is the rising power, challenging the US, the status quo power, through technological advances in defense, is currently arming islands across the South China Sea for the inevitable conflict with the US or one of its allies.