A surprise attack? Not on China’s watch

This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)

Collecting data via satellites was once a capability solely for powerful countries, particularly the United States. Starting from the 1980s, however, more countries acquired satellite capabilities and so access to satellite imagery became common, even to those who could once only dream of such capabilities.

There are several options for a country that comes to use satellites for military ends, from intelligence on different facilities, through assessing and analyzing specific structures to creaing 3D computerized models that can be used to guide guided weapons.

Recently satellite imagery was published, showing the Diving Eagle chinese UAV while parked on the tracks in Shenyang. Little is known about the latest chinese UAV models, other than the fact that they keep getting upgraded, and so satellite imagery are of great significance.

divine eagle


According to the satellite footage, it’s possible to see the specific characteristics. It shows that the UAV has a large twin fueslage and a single engine, and measurements done by Google Earth suggest that it is larger than the american large Global Hawk. The chinese vehicle’s wingspan reaches 40 meters and it is 15 meters long. Furthermore, it is estimated that it has a take-off weight of over 15 tons.

The satellite footage recognized at least five radars integrated into its airframe including a 160 degree forward-looking radar, two 120 degree side-looking and two rear-looking covering 152 degrees. In other words, the chinese UAV’s radars offer 360 degrees coverage and could detect targets in any weather. It is capable of flying high altitude with medium endurance and it seems that it would be operated to offer early warning on enemy aerial vehicles, thus helping to protect China’s aerial territory.


If this data really is correct then this chinese unmanned aerial vehicle is a major step for the republic’s unmanned capability. The Divine Eagle will aid in missions to collect intelligence on targets beypne the first chain of islands. China has decided as early as 2013 to use UAVs to monitor the east China sea, and given the fact that it has built a runway in the Spratleys, at the center of the south China sea, it’s possible the UAV could monitor that southern area as well.

Subscribe to our newsletter.