China's WZ-7 UAV detected near Taiwan for the first time

09/15/2022 10:58 PM
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Graphic: Ministry of National Defense
Graphic: Ministry of National Defense

Taipei, Sept. 15 (CNA) Four Chinese warplanes crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait on Thursday, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND), which also reported for the first time that the Guizhou WZ-7 Soaring Dragon, a high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), was detected operating near Taiwan.

The MND said a total of 26 Chinese military aircraft and five naval ships had been detected in the vicinity of Taiwan on Thursday, adding that it scrambled combat air and naval patrols and deployed defense missile systems in response.

Information released by the ministry showed that four Chinese planes - two Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets and two Xi'an JH-7 fighter bombers - crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait.

Seven other Chinese aircraft, including one Guizhou WZ-7 Soaring Dragon, one Guizhou BZK-007 drone, four J-16 multirole fighters and one Shaanxi Y-9 transport aircraft - entered the southwestern part of Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ), the ministry said.

The MND did not disclose the flight paths of the other 14 aircraft or the locations of the naval vessels.

The Guizhou WZ-7 Soaring Dragon is a high-altitude long flight UAV similar in design to the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk operated by the United States Air Force.

According to publicly available MND data, this is the first time the WZ-7 has been detected operating near Taiwan.

(By Matt Yu and Matthew Mazzetta)

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