An exhibitor at the aviation show in Zhuhai demonstrates a made-in-China Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. The hi-tech piece of kit is designed to carry heavy weapons but can be operated by a single soldier.
A host of hi-tech, homegrown military hardware was among the biggest draws on the opening day of the China International Aviation & Aerospace Forum in Zhuhai yesterday.
Among the visitors was self-confessed military technology fan Huang Bo, who said he had spent 1,000 yuan ($150) on his trip from Anhui province, where he is a student at the University of Science and Technology, just to catch a glimpse of the latest gear.
"The J-10 fighter is the biggest highlight for me," he said.
"I went to the show in 2006 hoping to see one, but was disappointed that it didn't show. This year, when news photos proved it would be in Zhuhai, I booked my ticket immediately."
But the J-10 is not the only attraction, the 24-year-old said.
"There are many new weapons on show for the first time," he said.
Among them are various types of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).
Wang Weidong, director of the system engineering department at the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), said one of the stars of the China-made UAV lineup is the medium-range CH-3.
"The vehicle has a payload of nearly 100 kg and provides a platform that can be used in the future to carry air-to-ground weapons," he said.
UAVs used for air-to-ground attacks are widely recognized around the world as the future of combat, he said.
Also drawing the crowds yesterday was the WS-2 long-range, guided multiple launch rocket system.
The massive, camouflaged vehicle, which some have nicknamed China's Hummer, is making its debut at the show.
Wang Wei, who works in the marketing department at the CASC, said the rocket system's maximum firing range is 200 km, a distance that few other launchers can match.
It excels in fast response and high firing density, and is among the most advanced rocket systems ever developed in China, he said.
In the show's defense missile area, the portable FN-16 air-defense system was also making its debut and drawing the crowds, Wang Weidong said.
This piece of equipment represents the leading edge in portable air-defense systems, a field in which China is truly a world leader, he said.
(China Daily November 5, 2008)