Chinese FH-95 electronic warfare UAV provides new dimension to drone deployment

China's FH-95 electronic warfare unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) passed a milestone test that examined the aircraft's performance, Liu Xuanzun reports in Global Times : independently developed by the Aerospace Times Feihong Technology Co (ATFTC) under the state-owned China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, the medium-range, electronic warfare armed reconnaissance drone FH-95 successfully completed a performance test at an undisclosed test base, Beijing-based magazine Unmanned Vehicles reported on July 25.
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Fei Hong series UAVs are displayed at Airshow China 2021 in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province. (Picture source: courtesy of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation via Global Times)

The FH-95 series drone has a ton-class takeoff weight, can carry more than 250 kg of a wide selection of mission payloads, and has an endurance of more than 24 hours. In addition to traditional missions like armed reconnaissance, border patrol and maritime surveillance, the FH-95 electronic warfare drone can work in a formation with other types of drones, providing electronic jamming and cover for the latter as they conduct other missions, the magazine said.

Contemporary popular drones are mainly designed for reconnaissance and attack roles, so a drone capable of electronic warfare will provide a new dimension to drone deployment, a Beijing-based military expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times on July 26: in a possible combat scenario, the FH-95 drone could conduct electromagnetic interference first, providing cover for the FH-97, a high-speed stealth drone, to penetrate and destroy hostile defense lines. The FH-92A, a type of traditional armed reconnaissance drone, can then conduct follow-up attacks, the Global Times learned from the ATFTC.

The FH-95 series drone completed its first test flight in 2017, was delivered to a key client in 2019, and received its first export contract in 2021, according to Unmanned Vehicles. A new variant in the FH-95 series has been carrying out test flights in a test base in Northwest China recently, the report said, without giving more details, Liu Xuanzun writes.