The new Chinese FH-97 drone looks nearly identical to the U.S. drone-maker Kratos XQ-58A Valkyrie Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle Concept.
FH-97 drone has caught the eye at the country’s big international airshow in Zhuhai. The drone which is being offered by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation would seem to have been tailored to fulfill the same kinds of combat roles as envisaged for the Valkyrie, which is being developed for the U.S. Air Force.
Like the Valkyrie, the Chinese FH-97 features a stealthy trapezoidal fuselage, sharply swept main wings, a V-shaped tail, and an air intake located above the fuselage.
Even the fuselage weapons bay features the same stealthy serrated edges to its doors, although the Chinese drone features an electro-optical sensor in a stealthy gold-plated windowed enclosure below the nose, similar in broad appearance to the one found on the F-35 and, to an extent, the J-20. It also features two small jet engines, instead of one.
This is not too surprising considering what we understand about the limitations of China’s indigenous jet engine manufacturing capabilities.
While we are yet to see specifications for the FH-97, it does appear to be similar in dimensions to the XQ-58A, which is 30 feet long, has a wingspan of 27 feet, and a maximum takeoff weight of 6,000 pounds.
While China has been accused of copying Western designs in the past, and the FH-97 does look remarkably similar to the Valkyrie, it’s also worth noting that India, too, has opted for a very similar design approach for its own loyal wingman drone, the HAL Combat Air Teaming System (CATS).
Russia’s “Grom” UAV is also very similar, as well, among others.