China has rightly identified a gap in the market, with relatively few countries having inducted UAVs so far, and few capable of building drones themselves, the low cost of Chinese systems will certainly be an advantage. A U.S. Predator costs around $4.5 million, while a Reaper is closer to $10 million for countries that manage to obtain clearance to buy them. Chinese sources have claimed that their equivalent UAVs cost less than $1 million, making them a highly affordable capability for a host of international customers, especially those unable or unwilling to source U.S. and Israeli technology.
I’ve long thought that what this blog lacked was its own Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. The costs seemed a little prohibitive but now, thanks to China, they may be soon within our grasp.
What use would a heavily armed drone be to a medium sized Mancunian blog, you ask? Why, they are legion! Apart from enabling real time monitoring of national security threats and the capacity to intervene in small wars, seccessions, uprisings etc, I’d be able to find out what our kid is doing right now, where’s got a good offer on for Stolychnia and how come that minicab I ordered is ten minutes late.
A call for donations is in order. As well as the cost of the drone itself we’d need a bit over for a launch party and a ‘whoops!’ fund for widows and people like that. Let us stride together into a genuinely new media environment while armed with whatever China has for Hellfire missiles.
I particularly want one of these. It’s my birthday in May (cough, hint).