Currently, the Chinese Navy and Air Force are using the BZK-005 long-range UAV. It is known as China’s Global Hawk with an estimated range of 2,400 km and a maximum endurance of 40 hours.

BZK-005, designed by Beihang University’s UAV Institute and Harbin Aircraft Industry Corporation, has been in development since 2000. It underwent testing and verification in 2006, before being finalized and delivered around 2007. The Chinese UAV has a length of about 9 meters, a wingspan of 19 meters, and a maximum take-off weight of 1.25 tons.

BZK-005 has a few stealth features integrated into its design. It is believed that a satellite data link antenna is held in its large upper body dome. Under the body there is an optic-electric sensor system which is believed to be its main sensor. It is expected that BZK-005 has cruising speed of around 170 km/h, service ceiling 8,000 m, max takeoff weight is around 1,200 kg, max payload over 150 kg.


BZK-005 has active/passive all-weather reconnaissance capability. Usually, high-altitude reconnaissance unmanned opportunities use synthetic aperture radar and optoelectronic equipment as the main means of reconnaissance. The former is an active detection method capable of penetrating clouds, vegetation and other unfavorable conditions for detection. The latter is a passive detection method and is not easily perceived by the other party. But more importantly, this drone has the capability of reconnaissance of passive radio signals, that is, using its own special equipment to collect signals from radios such as radars and communication equipments of the other side, and to summarize them, adding an extra latitude to the reconnaissance work.

On the whole, the many technical achievements of the Long Eagle UAV broke a number of domestic records and filled the gap, making China’s high-altitude reconnaissance drones into the world’s most advanced ranks. The actual role of this drone is like a satellite with wings, which has profound implications for China’s military to master the modern combat mode.

Two variants of the BZK-005 are the BZK-005E export version, and the combat version BZK-005C. The BZK-005E platform also uses standardized and modular design, which can easily and quickly load different performance or different types of reconnaissance/surveillance equipment according to different mission requirements, and conduct photoelectric reconnaissance, radar reconnaissance, electronic reconnaissance and communication.


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