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China's New Drone Looks Just Like America's New Drone, How Weird

As people who clamor for war think that World War III will soon dawn upon us because that's just how the world goes, it looks like China's trying to go drone-for-drone with the Americans. And as the Americans have stepped up the flight testing of their drones, so have the Chinese. And weirdly, they look the same.


Now I'm not saying that China has regularly copied Western designs, because that would be crazy. (Actually, I'm saying that.) But it looks like the copying has extended to China's new Lijian, or "Sharp Sword" drone, which reportedly made its first flight this week. Seriously, the thing looks just like the US Navy's X-47B:

Illustration for article titled Chinas New Drone Looks Just Like Americas New Drone, How Weird

Well, except in one crucial regard. While China is claiming that their new drone is as stealthy as it can be, the Lijian's engine seems to be enormous and would probably show up pretty well on radar, Quartz has noted. And this isn't a case of "bigger engine means more power," but probably a case of "China hasn't been able to shrink its engines into an efficient package yet."

In any case, China's making it pretty obvious that this is all a bit of saber-rattling, going so far as to say it is going to be used to settle "territorial disputes" in the South China Sea, which it disputes with pretty much everybody.

All this is good news for the defense industry, I suppose. Unless your product just gets copied again.

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China copying and stealing other peoples designs?! Seems pretty normal to me, they may be efficient but they are an umimaginative culture