Article: Unable to Buy U.S. Military Drones, Allies Place Orders With China

Jeremy Page and Paul Sonne, Wall Street Journal, July 19, 2017

Several countries in the Mideast and Africa have deployed weapons in conflicts after buying from Beijing—at lower cost.

China’s Wing Loong drones in a 2015 parade. Photo: ANDY WONG/European Pressphoto Agency

Last October, satellite images captured the distinctive outlines of some powerful new weaponry at a Saudi runway used for military strikes in Yemen. Three Wing Loong drones had appeared, Chinese-made replicas of the U.S. Predator with a similar ability to stay aloft for hours carrying missiles and bombs.

The same month, another Chinese military drone, the CH-4 Rainbow, appeared in a photo of an airstrip in Jordan near the Syrian border. Other commercial satellite images have since revealed Chinese strike and surveillance drones at bases used by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

These images and others now being scrutinized in international defense circles add to growing evidence that military drones exported by China have recently been deployed in conflicts in the Mideast and Africa by several countries, including U.S. allies that the U.S. blocked from buying American models.

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The complete article ist available at the Wall Street Journal website.

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