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Showing posts from March 17, 2013

Evaluating China's Anti-Ship Drone Swarms

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The Project 2049 Institute recently released a report on People’s Republic of China UAV advances, with a focus on how those capabilities could be used to threaten U.S. Navy carrier strike groups.  China's expanding land and sea-based UAV inventory ranges from small tactical systems to medium-ranged Predator-class to UCAVs still under development.  This Anti-access/Area Denial capability, or A2/AD in naval parlance, represents just one of several layers of offensive systems the PLA is developing to exercise naval hegemony in the Western Pacific.  The report argues that "UAV systems may emerge as the critical enabler for PLA long range precision strike missions within a 3000 kilometer radius of Chinese shores."  This 3000 km radius represents an area well into the so-called Second Island Chain, control of which is commonly recognized as a long term strategic goal for the PLA.

The report details Chinese strategists' plans to use drones of swarms in a variety of ways to…