A video featuring China’s new unmanned stealth aircraft, the Sky Hawk, was shown for the first time on China Central Television (CCTV) on Saturday.

Developed by China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation, the Sky Hawk conducted a test flight at an undisclosed location in China, the CCTV report said.

The video showed the drone taking off and landing, marking the first time that the aircraft has been publicly seen in flight.

The drone reportedly first flew in February last year but this is the first public flight.

“Battlefields of the future will be very intense and confrontational, and stealthy drones like the Sky Hawk will have a huge role to play,” Ma Hongzhong, its chief engineer at China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation, told news portal Thepaper.cn on Thursday.

“Manned-unmanned teaming is the technology of the future and the Sky Hawk has such a capability.”

The drone appears to be similar in shape to the X-44A drone which was recently unveiled by Lockheed Martin. Observers have said the Chinese drone is likely to have a wingspan of around 35 feet (just over 10 metres).


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captain P Wash.

“Battlefields of the future will be very intense and confrontational and stealthy Drones like the Skyhawk will have a huge role to play”
Yup, and Judging by the UK’s Ability to Hunt down and Destroy the latest Chinese Imports over Gatport Airwick and Heathrow, We’ll be Well able to Cope.



Commercial drones that pose no direct danger to the public unless they are shot down and military drones that are much larger and pose a threat to the public unless they are shot down are not even close to being the same problem…

captain P Wash.

I believe that the Commercial Drones posed a major threat to the Public, at least a Passenger plane’s worth, not to mention any poor Soles on the Ground. Military Drones also come In Various Sizes as I’m sure you are aware.


Not the ones the article is talking about. Plus commercial drones are not a major threat. If they are detected then aircraft are grounded while they deal with the issue.

China is also not going to be flying DJI drones in from china to attack the UK, They only have a range of a couple of miles!

The point is that the Gatwick issue was because it was more dangerous to shoot the drone down than to let it fly. If that situation changed then we have many ways to take out a threat.

captain P Wash.

Lee, I know all that mate. My original comment was more Sarcastic than Serious but there is a worry that We seemed unable to cope with, as you say a non major threat, Don’t you think ?
The CAA and the UK Government Thought so and Thousands of Passengers were actually affected.
Heaven forbid another Lockerby event caused by a DJI.

captain P Wash.

Oh and, Looks like They’ve Nicked Teranis now. Is there no end to their Deviousness ?

Daniele Mandelli



China is making enormous strides.

You buy a lot of R&D for your Renminbi.

When defence expenditure is given as a percentage of GDP does that include the lower labour resource costs of nations like China versus more developed economies like the UK? Even a small relative difference will give a significant boost to R&D purchasing power.

I have a feeling we’re not comparing apples with apples here. Can anyone comment?


Not just labour but also cost of raw materials, which China has in huge supply, whilst the UK has to import. There is also the speed of build coming from the reduced manpower cost and available manpower, giving reduced overall costs (think cost increases caused by slowing down the build rate on the carriers etc). It’s impossible to really compare, as even comparing against assets doesn’t work, since we have no idea how capable they are or how paper thin the supplies are etc etc. You could reduce down the GDP by average cost of living or average wage, but… Read more »

captain P Wash.

“China Is Making Enormous Strides”

Sorry to drag this Up but, That’s just so funny I want to make a Witty Reply.
Are they for Mr Trump ?
“Donald, Wears (where’s) Yer Trousers ? “.

not sure anyone will get the Humour but, Hey Ho.

Cam Hunter

China sucks, aren’t they embarrassed at how they copy everything and don’t invent anything! Even most of the Chinese big projects in country are managed and designed by Europeans or westerners… they are re a joke. And the so called stealth jet they copied actually has no stealth atall… it just looks stealth, just like most Chinese junk.


And we weren’t spying and stealing on the Russians through out the cold war, or the Germans during WW1/WW2, and probably China now. GCHQ/MI6(SIS) are around for this purpose.

Spying is just part of the international game, i kind of get bored when people point fingers are china for hacking etc, when we know full well the west is doing the same in reverse.

Daniele Mandelli

Problem is we buy endless amounts of crap from them and they get stuff like this in return.

We should make our own.

Went to M&S and Debenhams with the wife yesterday and they have changed beyond recognition. Where is the quality British made stuff?

It’s all made in China these days.

We only have ourselves to blame.


Well yes. The British public want cheap mass market stuff and are not willing to pay for more expensive British built stuff so it is pretty self explanatory really. It is not that we are not capable of building great things. We build some astonishing cars, amazing Hi-Fi systems, some great quality clothing etc etc but they end up being niche because people want cheap.

andy reeves

at christmas i told the kids ,santa moved his workshop from the north pole to china, which is why all toys have ‘made in china’ on them.!

captain P Wash.

We don’t copy them, They copy Us.
We don’t buy Our Quality Built Stuff, We buy Their Crap.
Our stuff used to Last, Theirs just goes wrong.
If we all stopped buying their Crap then We might have a better Economy, Theirs would be growing at a far less rate and They wouldn’t be able to purchase so much Military Equipment, thus negating the very huge threat to the World and Asia that they now Pose.

Stop Buying their crap. init.

It ain’t rocket Science.

Daniele Mandelli


Danny Hobbs

You guys got it more than right, we buy their crap, they use our money to build a military to kill all of us, cheap tv’s and toys just aint worth it.. Trump is an a hole but he got it right, at least a little, the us and its allies should totally stop buying the crap, their war building economy is gone. We use their first island chain to trap them inside it sink every ship carrying anything to or from china. The talk about sinking us navy carriers with 10 thousands sailors aboard should be a giant wake… Read more »


Not aware of much significant that was copied directly from the Germans during the war, the tight nose cowl for the Centaurus powered Tempest Mk 2 (which barely featured before the end) but found its way into the Fury/Ses Fury post war comes immediately to mind but that wasn’t through spying that was due to a lost pilot landing his FW 190 onto a UK airfield so we clearly didn’t copy their navigation aids. Indeed technological spying on the Reich would have been almost impossible I suspect, the appropriation of a Enigma pre war being the best example I guess.… Read more »


We pretty much lifted most of the German industrial secrets at the end of the war… To be fair though we did have plenty of our own inventions too. The Chinese see to simply copy but not offer anything to go the other way.

captain P Wash.

I agree with you there. To the Victor, the Spoils. Then we helped them rebuild. VAG, BMW, Mercedes etc.

andy reeves

and don’t go to spain for your holiday’s, gibraltar will be most grateful

David E Flandry

But the west buys plastic junk from China , while China buys high-tech from us, or steals it. IBM sold its PC business to China, lock, stock, and barrel. Now we can buy Chinese PCs called Lenova. I don’t think the situation is symmetrical.


The trouble is that as consumers we’ve become such a superficial, possession-obsessed instant-gratification society that the vast majority of people aren’t willing to pay a premium for quality, they’d rather get more stuff that superficially looks good and impresses their friends and neighbours even if ultimately it breaks, wears out etc. Until people actually start craving quality again rather than wanting stuff to be as cheap as possible we will continue to get tat all over the place. Obviously there are exceptions to the above, not everyone things that way, but I’m afraid that an awful lot of people do.… Read more »


Glad to see BAE have been working with the Chinese to produce this! If they didn’t collaborate with the Chinese on Taranis Im sure its just a happy coincidence this looks eerily similar to Taranis.


BAE would sell to anyone if they could. That’s why several nations have Typhoon. And that’s why they are now trying to get funding to develop Tempest because to stay ahead we need something better. Of course we will have to sell Tempest to everybody to pay for it like we have done with the F35 and then we will have to spend another Earth paying for a better Tempest to keep ahead. It’s all about jobs really isn’t it?

captain P Wash.

Tim, Typhoon Is a Multi Nation Collaboration, Several Nations Have It because It’s what they wanted. F35 Is also a Multi Nation Project with the UK having a 15% share. Tempest Might well be the next UK Fighter but Time will tell. Jobs are good.
I can’t be bothered to go any further.

Cam Hunter

Exactly capatain, some people on here really don’t know what’s the hells going on in the world.


Crazy. I thought they where still trying to develop smokeless jet engines? Maybe the airframe and fly-by-wire software is easier to steel but regardless their R&D budget will be over 10 times larger than the UK and won’t be long before they have over 100 ready to patrol the South China sea

Glass Half Full

I dunno … the video seems to be a strange mix of extremely low resolution, very limited “flight” footage and poor CGI. I doubt Chinese TV snapped a scoop and put it on public display without authorization so why such poor quality? And why so limited? Its almost like they are copying production values from recent Russian advanced technology video propaganda, probably something best not used as a role model. I’m not saying the Chinese couldn’t develop something like this, at least as a flying concept, based either on stealing the technology or developing it themselves. After all the West… Read more »

Fergus Mckeown

Its difficult to really say that this is a copy, China has become a leader in drone technology the Taranis and sky hawk only bare a superficial resemblance seeing as how they are both flying wings although trailing edge is different. How come the Taranis isn’t called a X-44 copy? In truth China has studied and published lots of design concepts for flying wing UAV’s. They have also flown the sharp sword which is a slightly larger flying wing drone.


What I don’t understand is why we allow them to steal secrets through hacking. We know they are doing it yet still put sensitive information on networks they can reach. Surely we can ring fence systems or am I being too simplistic?


Couple of things I have taken from this 1. The Chinese are right – the next conflict really will be highly contested. 2. Taranis is a great product and the UK should pursue it. 3. We need to order a large volume (200+) of these at hopefully circa £15m each. As I have said previously on UKDJ. We should be using these from the carriers with F35B’s in a stand off position controlling them onto target, also do what the US are doing and make some into tankers. That gets us out of the V22 discussion as well. Taranis/Magma should… Read more »

Mr Bell

Agree with Paceman’s post above- if the Taranis UAV is combat capable and deployable as a first strike capability it is surely going to be a better proposition then sending in a F35B manned aircraft in the first wave or high-risk deep penetration package.
The worry is that the Chinese have reversed engineered the Taranis UAV so easily and could mass produce this UAV in thousands and thousands at a fraction of the cost we would produce it and pay exorbitant BAE prices.

John Fedup

If you examine the commercial market for drones, China has overwhelming market share that is generating billions in revenues. This dominance provides the Chinese military a way into military drone development. Yes, technology theft is a huge issue generally but in this area, not so much.


I don’t think the Sky Hawk is a copy of the Taranis, but more a development of the RQ-170 Sentinel that was supposedly hacked by Iran. Iran have tried to reverse engineer the drone, but I can guarantee both Russia and China would have paid through the nose for access to the UAV, as at the time it was one of the stealthiest aircraft about. Much like Russia acquired parts of the shot down F117 over Serbia, China would have bought parts of the aircraft or had direct access. I would suspect that they would face serious problems trying to… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

Good point re Sentinel.

That UAV in the photo looks far smaller than Taranis.

I wonder if the US ever got to the bottom of that, how the UAV was downed, and, being stealthy, how they even detected it.

There is also the tail end of the stealthy Blackhawk crashed in Bin Laden’s compound.

Using your secret stuff over other territories come with its own risks.

No wonder I read some even more secret stuff flying over Nevada never leaves home, they would have to bomb the other country into the Stone Age to protect the technology.

captain P Wash.

Teranis Is a Concept demonstrator though, It’s never going to be produced as such . At one point, It was described as the most Technically Advanced and complicated Military project the UK had undertaken. (Or words to that effect) I believe other developments include non moving flying control surfaces ( or whatever It’s called ) and I also believe that Tempest will benefit from this Project. At the moment we are working with France to Co Develop a joint Effort. ( until they pull out ) Keeping our ability to Design such Technically Advanced systems Is the really Important bit… Read more »


China has made great strides over the last 20 years in R&D, that we can all agree on. The Americans and Europeans may soon be the ones to “copy” China’s high tech weaponry in the years ahead. The Sky Hawk may look like a clone from Europe or America, but the drone may be very different under the skin. The proof of the pudding will be in sales to the rest of the world, time will tell.

andy reeves

by the time tempest actually happens, it will be obsolete!