China Rolls Out UAVs That Look Similar to U.S. Counterparts
November 27, 2012 9:16 AM
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Chinese CH-4 Drone
(Source: Want ChinaTimes)
MQ-9 Reaper Drone
(Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Chinese defense companies copy the US
The Chinese military establishment has long copied military hardware from other parts of the world, including the U.S. Some Chinese military drones have been seen at China's Zhuhai air show in model form.
China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation built the CH-4 and it’s clear that the
U.S. Reaper drone heavily influenced its design
. The CH-4 has a claimed endurance of 30 hours and can travel nearly 2,000 miles at altitudes of up to 5 miles.
Another drone on display is built by Chengdu Aircraft Design is called the Wing Loong, and it also resembles the Reaper according to reports.
Of all the military drones on display at the air show, however,
reports that the Wing Loong garnered the most attention. That drone reportedly has export deals in the works and the static display at the show features four hard points for weapons (laser-guided bombs, air-to-ground missiles, etc).
Another weapon on display, the Bateleur, was said to be a copy of the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey and is capable of vertical takeoff and landing. However, simply copying the V-22 Osprey would be a difficult endeavor, as that highly complex aircraft has been
plagued with numerous problems during its lifetime
This isn’t the first time that mimicry has struck Chinese aircraft design.
China’s J-20 stealth fighter
looks suspiciously similar to Northrop-Grumman and Lockheed Martin stealth fighter designs.
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11/27/2012 11:24:12 AM
Contractors bid to win the contract, first and foremost. They figure out how to meet the price after the fact. If the Federal government wants that to stop, then they have to make an example out of programs that go overbudget.
Oh, wait, the JSF is popular? Oh, you want that new radar system? Oh well. *Gives more money at a black hole*
11/27/2012 12:42:29 PM
Small correction - they have figured out they don't have to meet the price because the military an politicians will just hand them a bag of money anyway.
11/27/2012 1:42:02 PM
It's always the contractor's fault right...
Gov't program manager 1: "The program committee has determined that we now need the plane to be able to carry B61 special weapons on the outer pylons in addition to the inner pylons, to increase mission capability to 4 separate nuclear targets. How will this affect the program goals?"
Contractor: "Sure, it's possible, but we will have to redesign the wing spar, skin, flaps, hydraulics, wiring, software, add 200 pounds to the aircraft, and we'll have to change the assembly tooling. That will probably take us 4 months and cost 200 million.
Program manager 1: "Since this meets program criteria, I have pre-approval for this change order to commence immediately."
.....3 Months Later.....
Government program manager #2: "We need to address the escalating weight of the aircraft. The aircraft is estimated to be 300 pounds over weight the goal since program committee determined 50 rounds was not adequate for the gun and we had to add another 250 rounds. The sub-committee has reviewed program features that we can streamline to reduce weight to meet goals, and they want to know if we can delete the option for additional B61 special weapons capability on outer pylons?"
Contractor: "Sure, we estimate it will save 200 pounds. But we will have to redesign the wing spar, skin, flaps, wiring,hydraulics, software, and we'll have to change the assembly tooling. That will take us about 3 months and cost 200 million plus the retrofit costs to the preproduction models.
Gov't Program Manager 2: "Sounds great, I have pre-approval for the change order to delete the B61 option. Also, the committee would also like a study on the weight saved by deleting the backup oxygen system.
Contractor:"By the way, what happened to Program Manager #1?"
Gov't Program Manager 2: "He was promoted to the Project team that is implementing ERM software for the Air Force to save money on all future project management....
...oh and by the way I'm at 20 years next month, so I'll be retiring and you should meet your new Program Manager in 3 or 4 months."
11/27/2012 7:41:52 PM
Don't forget one of my favorites:
...the guys in the research lab did this thing yesterday and we want to add it to the jet, yeah I know we are at the 90% design phase and that equipment has been set in stone for two months but this new discovery sounds really promising...So what if production begins next month we'll just write up a design change order and work out the extra costs later at the final pre-production meeting.
It is sad how few people get how many cost over-runs are more likely than not tied to the government bureaucrats than the contractors. Yes, I know contractors have been stupid too but it all starts with the program managers in the government. After all its not their money...
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