Meet China's Latest, Latest Carrier-Killer

(Image courtesy CJDBY)

(Image courtesy CJDBY)

This one is a drone — a really very seriously big drone:

Developed by China’s Shenyang Aircraft Corporation and influenced by the Russian Sukhoi S-62 twin-fuselage high-altitude, long-endurance UAV (some media reports indicate that China stole key design features from Russia), the Divine Eagle is Beijing’s latest addition to its burgeoning anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) capabilities.

The UAV prototype is a high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) multi-mission platform with both long-range surveillance as well as strike capabilities and “has been the subject of speculative conceptual drawings since 2012,” according to IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly. It boasts anti-stealth capabilities, a special purpose radar and reportedly first flew in February 2015.

According to Popular Science magazine, the Divine Eagle is designed to carry multiple Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars, of the AMTI, SAR and GMTI varieties as well as Airborne Moving Target Indicators (AMTI) that are used to track airborne targets, like enemy fighters and cruise missiles.

Ground Moving Target Indicator (GMTI) radars could be used for identifying and tracking large groups of vessels such as an aircraft carrier strike force. Other radars like the “F-22 killer” JY-26 “have raised concerns in the American military that they could track stealth aircraft like the F-35 fighter and B-2 bomber at long ranges,” Popular Science magazine reports.

However, “compared to the initial concept art and drawings available in February, the latest Divine Eagle iteration is less stealthy, having two satellite communications domes, completely vertical tails and an exposed engine intake,” the magazine additionally notes.

All I can say to China is, good luck getting anything that big and electronically “noisy” anywhere near a carrier battle group — but do keep calling it “stealthy,” because that’s just adorable.