China Unveils 'Smart' Glide Autonomous Dispenser Weapon
China has revealed a new 'smart' glide dispenser autonomous weapon via its state-run China Central Television, or CCTV.
The orange-painted weapon greatly resembles the Raytheon AGM-154 Joint Stand-Off Weapon (JSOW), which is utilized by the U.S. Air Force.
As per the Shanghai-based news website Eastday, CCTV's National Defense Science and Industry program released new details of the 1,100lb (500kg)-class air-launched weapon for the first time.
The reported in the clip — which can be seen below — provided a tour of what is reported to be a People’s Liberation Army Air Force storage facility, in which they gave a close-up look at the weapon.
PLAAF— 【GYS社】雄鹰御长空 Sun☀️ (@Soul_Maker_IamI) August 15, 2020
China’s Global Times went into more detail by saying that the weapon, whose formal designation is not yet known, "can release hundreds of submunitions," which " can effectively paralyze an airfield in one shot."
A senior engineer at the China North Industries Group Corporation (NORINCO), the weapon’s manufacturer, is also quoted in the article as stating that each glide-bomb can carry 240 sub-munitions of six different types.
The "advanced aerial bomb has a range of more than 60 km [37 miles],” the Global Times report stated. “It not only has high strike accuracy, but can also be loaded with a variety of ammunition” and perform "high-altitude long-range launch, autonomous all-weather attacks, and high-precision hits," it continued.
As per The Drive, the weapon shares some very common design features with the Raytheon AGM-154: most notably, it has an almost identical tail configuration sporting six small fins. The unveiling showcases China's increasing technological prowess at a time of escalating tensions and was no doubt released to strike a chord with neighboring regions.