China Deploys UAV in Military Exercise At South China Sea

Reported on 12/12/2012 that China may have use ASN Technology ASN-209 Silver Eagle UAV during a naval exercise in the South China Sea last July. The UAV may have been conducting simulated combat mission following its launch from the bed of the truck.

China Silver Eagle UAV

During the 3 hours flight, the UAV was controlled by ground operator using a mouse and keyboard. When the UAV reached the combat zone, it maintained a cruising speed of 72 knots and altitude of 3,000 meters.

During its mission it disrupted communications, while also acting as a node for a Chinese military communications network, relaying “large numbers of information packets” among Chinese forces. When an ‘enemy’ aircraft approached, the ground control station initiated a “counter-surveillance deployment plan”, and by reducing its altitude and initiating radio silence the Silver Eagle evaded detection.

Following the mission, the aircraft returned to its launching position and landed by deploying a parachute.

The use of the Silver Eagle in a naval exercise highlights one of the potential roles of UAVs in the ‘access denial’ strategy China would employ in a naval conflict in home waters.

Malaysia has also tested its locally developed UST/CTRM Aludra Mk II TUAV from one of its offshore naval station in the South China Sea to evaluate the possibilities of operating such system from there.