China showcases SAR-equipped BZK-005 UAV in military led firefighting operation

China showcases SAR-equipped BZK-005 UAV in military led firefighting operation – link

Source: Jane’s

Article Headlines

  • China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Central Theatre Command has released images of an in-service BZK-005 MALE UAV that has been specifically configured for wide-area intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions, offering what appears to be the first glimpse of this specific variant to the international public
  • The Central Theatre Command announced on 23 March that a BZK-005 UAV, operated by an undisclosed PLA Air Force (PLAAF) reconnaissance UAV battalion, was dispatched to provide airborne real-time intelligence to support joint civil-military firefighting operations – led by the command’s 83rd Army Group – in the landlocked northwestern province of Shaanxi on the 18th of March
  • It added that imagery and data captured by the air vehicle’s ISR payloads, comprising an EO/IR turret and an under nose synthetic aperture radar (SAR) pod, enabled army planners to pinpoint hotspots obscured by the blanket of thick smoke in the afflicted area and direct troops to construct a 4 km long, 50 m wide firebreak to contain the blaze
  • Industry sources had stated that IECAS has been engaged in domestic SAR technology research and development (R&D) since the early 2000s and has successfully commercialized the D3000 family of multifunction UAV SAR payloads
  • According to the institute, D3000-series payloads have volumetric weights of between 5-100 kg and are designed to cover the Ka-, Ku-, X-, C-, and L-bands, enabling fixed-wing or rotary UAVs to perform a broad range of air-to-surface search and detect tasks including inverse SAR (InSAR) imaging, ground moving target indication (GMTI), spotlight-mode radar imaging, strip-mapping, as well as wide area search

Overview & Comments

  • In January 2020 it was reported that a BZK-005 has crashed in Cambodia – See “Chinese Drone Crashes in Cambodia” 
  • The BZK-005 has a cruising speed of around 170 km/hour, service ceiling 8,000 meters, MTOW is around 1,200 kg with a maximum payload of over 150 kg

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