China Announces Precision-Strike Reconnaissance Drone to Strengthen Defense at India Border

BEIJING: Chinese military experts have told state media that they expect an increase in the use of state-of-the-art drones in the PLAAF's border security operations in the near future. The pilots of many of these unmanned drones have experience in flying fighter jets.

An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) with multiple capabilities and a range of about 1,000 km has been unveiled by the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF).

The new drone can be seen practicing from a PLAAF base in northwest China in a video released by the Defense Ministry. Additionally, according to state media, the new drone unit practiced "long-endurance" flights of more than a thousand kilometers.

CCTV has emphasized that this is the first time the PLAAF drone unit has been made public to the press.
According to experts cited by state media, the new drone will play an "important role" in border patrol and counter-terrorist operations. According to military experts, drones can patrol the border more cheaply and effectively than manned fighters.

According to experts, drones are likely to be used in "integration exercises" with fighter jets, early warning aircraft, helicopters and other drone types. According to reports, fighter pilots who have flown J-7, J-8 and J-16 jets are now piloting drones.

The use of drones has been observed by the PLAAF along the maritime borders in the east as well as along the western and north-western borders. In September, Taiwan reported seeing several different types of drones used by the PLAAF.

Beijing is embroiled in a border dispute with India along its western border as new drones have been unveiled. In the Gogra Heights-Hot Springs area, a flashpoint in the Ladakh border standoff that broke out in April-May 2020, Indian and Chinese troops "completed decommissioning" and "destroyed military infrastructure" this month. However, thousands of soldiers from both sides are still engaged in a tense standoff at two other flashpoints.

On Tuesday, India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said the border situation with China is still "not normal".
Tensions have also increased in the Taiwan Strait since Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taipei last month. 

In response to Pelosi's provocative visit, the PLA conducted its largest ever live-fire and ballistic missile exercises in six areas around Taiwan; Beijing views Taiwan as a separate province that will eventually be reunited with the mainland.

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