Report: Chinese Drone ‘Swarms’ Designed to Attack American Aircraft Carriers

US News

China's fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, could be technologically superior to those in the American arsenal and might have the ability to "swarm" in attacking an American aircraft carrier, according to a new analysis of the country's program.

China first started publicly flying drones in October, 2009, during its National Day parade. Since then, it had stockpiled at least 280 UAVs as of 2011 that could be used for "intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions, precision strike missions and electronic warfare missions," according to the report, released by the Project 2049 Institute, an Arlington, Va.-based think tank. Since then, the country has likely manufactured many more, lead author Ian Easton says.

"Chinese UAV technology is a woefully understudied topic," he says, adding that there's reason to believe that China has either already surpassed U.S. prowess in unmanned air technology or will soon do so. "They're certainly far more advanced than I expected them to be. You get the impression they're doing very advanced, cutting-edge research."

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