Back in May a Chinese company named Beijing Zhongzi Yanjing Auto Co Ltd. released a new armored vehicle at Beijing Civil-Military Integration Expo 2019. What makes this new armored vehicle of note is its capability of releasing 12 drones to conduct reconnaissance or to be used for an attack.

The new armor vehicle comes in at 5.7 meters long/18.7 ft, 2.4 meters wide/ 7.8 ft, with a 4×4 suspension, and a max speed of 125 kmph/ about 78 mph. The vehicle can operate in adverse environments such as dense jungles or mountainous terrains with ease.

The new vehicle uses 12 pneumatic tubes to launch the reconnaissance /attack drones in the air. Upon being launched into the air the drone wings open up and become operationally controllable by a human. The 12 pneumatic tubes are hidden until they are needed within the vehicle. This provides an element of surprise as enemies will have difficulty distinguishing drone launching vehicles from standard ones, an employee from the company said. 

Four of the drones that can be launched from the vehicle will be the smaller SULA30 reconnaissance drones that can stay in the air for more than an hour. These SULA30 drones have to the capability to transmit real-time information to a command center.  

The other eight drones are the SULA89 recon/attack drones with the capability of carrying 4.4 lbs explosive payload. The drones can launch attacks once they have acquired there target, with the ability to travel at speeds up to 180 kmph/ about 111 mph.

The SULA89 is designed to destroy mobile light armored vehicles, field fortifications and armed personnel in cover, the company said.

Twelve drones in one vehicle can form a formidable swarm and deliver a saturated attack on a single target, or they could spread out to deal with multiple targets, the report stated further.

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What do you think of China’s new armored vehicle with drone capabilities? Do you think it is a potential game changer on the battlefield? What do you think of drones on the battlefield? 

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