Hackers, China and Israeli UAS

Some Israeli aerospace companies have been the target of cyber attacks performed supposedly by Chinese hackers.

This could be part of a vast effort made by the Chinese to gain access to the computers of many organisations across the world. 

China is denying these accusations – but they keep popping up every week in another place.

However, if there really is a concerted effort to penetrate the systems of Israeli aerospace companies, this has a somewhat special connotation.

For many years Israeli aerospace and defence companies had been selling advanced systems to China. That ended in 1999, when the US vetoed the sale of three Phalcon airborne early warning systems on Russian-made aircraft to China. 

The aircraft were ready for delivery when the US made its move. Since then there have been no defence ties of any kind between China and Israel, but the Chinese are still fascinated by Israeli technology.

And despite this history between them, Israeli unmanned air system manufacturers are expecting a new player in the market – China.

The manufacturers say there are signs that the Chinese are making a special effort to design a number of UAS.

The sources say that while it is expected the Chinese UAS – at least in the early years – will not have the operational capabilities of those made by companies in the US and Israel, they may still look attractive.

Last year China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation displayed the CH-4 UAS, which resembles the US Reaper.

The CH-4 has a claimed endurance of 30h and a range of 1,700nm (3,000km) at altitudes of up to 26,000ft (8,000m).

Another UAS that was displayed by the Chinese company was dubbed Wing Loong, and also resembles the Reaper, according to reports.

The Israeli sources assess that the Chinese will offer the UAS at very low prices in order to penetrate the market.

The UAS market is getting saturated. While it must be said sophisticated users know the difference between a good-looking platform and a real system, the market is getting tougher every day. 

The Chinese have proved that they know how to influence a market, and many parties are bracing for the influx of Chinese products.

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