China has unveiled a new armoured vehicle that is capable of firing 12 suicide drones to launch attacks on targets and to conduct reconnaissance operations on Tuesday at the Beijing Civil-Military Integration Expo 2019.
The 5.7 meter-long, 2.4 meter-wide 4x4 off-road vehicle was developed by Beijing Zhongzi Yanjing Auto Co Ltd. It has a max speed of 125kmph and can adapt to the various demands of highly mobile troops. The vehicle can operate in difficult terrains including jungles and mountains, Global Times reported Tuesday.
The wheeled vehicle uses what the company calls "missile-vehicle integrated technology." It carries 12 pneumatic launch tubes that fire drones into the air, which then spread their wings and become operationally controllable.
These launch tubes are usually hidden within the vehicle and are only revealed upon use. This provides an element of surprise as enemies will have difficulty distinguishing drone launching vehicles from standard ones, an employee of the company said.
Among the 12 drones the vehicle can launch, four of them are the smaller SULA30 reconnaissance drones that can stay in the air for more than an hour. They can transmit real-time information to a command center, said a separate company statement sent to the Global Times.
Eight of the drones are two meter-wide SULA89 reconnaissance and attack drones that can carry more than two kilograms of explosives each. They can launch accurate suicide attacks once they locate their targets, diving at speeds of 180 kilometers an hour, according to the company's statement.
The SULA89 is designed to destroy mobile light armored vehicles, field fortifications and armed personnel in cover, the company said.
Twelve drones in one vehicle can form a formidable swarm and deliver a saturated attack on a single target, or they could spread out to deal with multiple targets, the report stated further.