UAV in active service reveals PLA's growing interest in military robot

16:43, October 01, 2009      

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China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) which used to be in favor of human wave tactics has revealed its growing interest in military robot systems such as the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) mounted on trucks that appeared for the first time on National Day parade.

A total of ten short- and mid-range UAVs, obviously driven by a two-bladed propeller at the top or end of the fuselages, are painted with blue and red strips on the fuselage and wings.

In the front part of each of the first two UAVs, a digital camera-like aviation pod could also be seen.

"The ten UAVs of three different models have been equipped to the PLA's special forces to carry out various reconnaissance missions," Wang Baorong, captain of the UAV formation, said in an earlier interview with Xinhua.

"They could collect battlefield information by taking photos and videos with digital cameras and send them back from highly dangerous regions through live transmission," Wang said, adding that the drones could be remotely controlled by pilots on the ground or by prewritten computer programs automatically.

Providing a completely casualty-free service for the PLA which is in transition to IT-supported armed forces with high efficiency, the UAV and other robot systems have been new requests by the troops.

"The official debut of the PLA's UAVs reveals that China has made substantial progress in intelligent control system, precise measuring-controlling system and computer information processing for military uses," said Professor Tan Kaijia, a weaponry expert with the PLA's National Defense University.

"The acquisition of large amount of UAVs will greatly speed up information collecting procedures in battlefield environment and improve the troops' quick-response ability," Tan said.

"But a slight disappointment was that many spectators might wish to see the unmanned aircraft flying over their heads, not just carried by trucks," Professor Gong Fangbin with the university said in the reviewing stand in front of the Tian'anmen Rostrum during the parade.

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