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China’s Beating the US to Market on Combat Drones, By Copying US Technology

China recently unveiled a new combat drone that matches many components and design elements of a U.S. drone that was developed and then shelved in 2015. Experts have said that, through the Chinese CH-7, “China has once again demonstrated its ability, at least in form, to replicate U.S. drone designs…While the U.S. publicly shelved the deployment of a UAV capable of operating in denied airspace, shifting the funds to an air-to-air refueling AUV, China appears more interested in pushing the envelope now. China’s reveal once again highlights that American military technical leadership is not inevitable. China and others are actively competing, and it will take sustained American effort to stay ahead.” Another expert from the Center for Strategic and International Studies declared that “we were a leader and now we are a laggard, stuck with expensive manned options and not doing nearly the experimentation and learning we need to. We’ll need to watch and learn from China and others now.” Another said, “it’s truly disappointing to see that China is now poised to pass the U.S. in fielding an operational uninhabited combat air vehicle. The U.S. had a decade-plus head start….and has unfortunately squandered that lead.”

Source: China’s Beating the US to Market on Combat Drones, By Copying US Technology – Defense One

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