China's Military Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Industry   [open pdf - 2MB]

The following are the "key judgments" of the report: "China's unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) industry is diversifying and expanding, though scant publicly available information on state-owned UAV producers limits a detailed understanding of the industry. The dual-use nature of the technology has led to significant crossover across academia, the People's Liberation Army (PLA), state-owned defense enterprises, and the private sector. […] The PLA primarily uses UAVs for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions and communications relay, but likely is developing and operating UAVs for electronic warfare (EW) and lethal missions as well. Furthermore, China increasingly is incorporating UAVs into non-defense missions, such as border security, maritime surveillance, and humanitarian assistance/disaster relief. […] Chinese defense firms -- state-owned, university-based, and private -- have publicized the development of armed UAVs and unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs). The PLA appears to have a requirement for both types of systems, though the status of these programs is unknown. […] Surging domestic and international market demand for UAVs, from both military and civilian customers, will continue to buoy growth of the Chinese industry. Chinese defense firms do not face the same export restrictions as top UAV-exporting countries, such as the United States and Israel. As a result, China could become a key UAV proliferator, particularly to developing countries."

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U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission: http://www.uscc.gov/
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