China is selling unmanned stealth fighter jets 'fitted with AK-47 RIFLES' to the world in a military drone race with the United States
China is rolling out stealth drones and pilot-less aircraft fitted with deadly weapons, such as AK-47 rifles, onto world markets.
Combat drones were among the jet fighters, missiles and other military hardware shown off this week at Airshow China, the country's biggest aerospace industry exhibition.
China's automated warplanes are already flying in the Middle East, and the newly unveiled unmanned jets signal Beijing's determination in catching up and eventually rivaling with the United States in the global military drone market.
One of the most eye-catching drones displayed at the exhibition in Zhuhai was CH-7, or Rainbow-7, China's newest stealth combat drone.
The delta-winged stealth drone received much attention, highlighting the superpower's growing production of sophisticated unmanned aerial vehicles and its effort in seeking to compete with the massive military fleet in America.
CH-7 - a charcoal-grey UAV unveiled at the air show - is the length of a tennis court with a 22-metre (72-feet) wingspan. It can fly at more than 800 kilometres (500 miles) per hour and at an altitude of 13,000 metres (42,650 feet).
'We are convinced that with this product clients will quickly contact us,' said Shi Wen, chief engineer of the Caihong (Rainbow) series drones at state-owned China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp (CASC).
CH-7's maiden flight is slated for late next year.
CASC has clients in around 10 countries, Shi told AFP, while declining to name them.
'Some things remain sensitive,' he said.
Beijing claims that the drone was domestically developed with its own know-how, but observers argue that it appears to be a clone of American military drones, especially the X-47B from the U.S. Navy.
Measuring 10 metres (33 feet) long and boasting a top speed of 0.75 Mach (571 miles per hour), the CH-7 has a similar size and speed to Northrop Grumman's X-47B.
Length: 11.6 metres (38.2 feet)
Wingspan: 18.9meters (62.1 feet)
Maximum take-off weight: 19,958 kilograms (44,000 pounds)
Maximum flight altitude: 12,800 metres (42,000 feet)
Top speed: High Subsonic
Power plant: Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220U
Manufacturer: Northrop Grumman Corporation
美国的X- 47 B:
CHINA'S CH-7 DRONE
Length: 10 metres (33 feet)
Wingspan: 22 meters (72 feet)
Maximum take-off weight: 13,000 kilograms (28,660 pounds)
Maximum flight altitude: 13,000 metres (42,650 feet)
Top speed: 0.75 Mach (571 miles per hour)
Power plant: Unknown
Manufacturer: China Aerospace and Technology Corporation