[Photo] China’s Navy UAV flies close to the disputed Senkaku islands

On Sept. 9, one day after two H-6G maritime strike aircraft had been intercepted by the Japan Air Self Defense Force F-15 scrambled from Naha while flying in international airspace between the Miyako and Okinawa islands, an unknown Chinese UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) was intercepted near the contested Senkaku islands.

Based on the image released by the Japan MoD, the UAV seems to be a Wing Loong (Pterodactyl), a drone based on the U.S. MQ-1 Predator.

Update: as suggested by several readers the drone is actually a BZK-005 more than a Pterodactyl.

Image credit: Japan MoD


Enhanced by Zemanta
About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. It’s not a Wing Loong, it is a BKZ-05. Look at the rear of the main fuselage, it is a pusher propeller configuration akin to an IAI Heron. The twin vertical stabilisers are at the end of booms which extend from the rear wingroot beside the engine mount.

  2. I put this out as a slight possibility that a very youth-full small and very talented Chinese person is either

    A. Actually inside the aircraft (very likely)
    B. Controlling it using std radio freq from an observable distance. (operator advised not to look at the sun)
    C. True remote control not involving saitek flightsim controller (highly unlikely)
    D.Actual autonomous operation ( this is the the CRCMIC (Chinese Russian
    cloning military industrial complex) we are talking about) again (very
    E. Using some sort of radio/laser guide beam form of navigation. (doable)
    F. Actual US drone flying from Korea/Japan (plausible.

    That is my highly sought after analysis of the Chinese small people operated plane situation.

    • You fail to realize it could have been child labour pilot flying it. But then you have to admit any ordinary 6 year old Chinese can handle complex UAV, and the world is doom to be dominated by China.

    • He said the Wing Loong is a Predator copy, not the BZK-005.

      Although, the Wing Loong is a little more like a Reaper copy than a Predator copy, with the right-side-up V tail. (Then again, the Reaper is actually a Predator B. What a tangled web we weave. LOL)

      • he edited the article after my comment. the prior title is implying that this UAV is a predator copy.

        • Please note that I updated the article after you (and others before you) suggested that the drone was not a Pterodactyl, but title and text were corrected at the same time: this means that in the original article, where I mistakenly suggested the drone was a Pterodactyl, I never mentioned the BZK-005. So, I’ve never compared the BZK-005 to a Predator.

  3. So glad China is stirring things up with Japan and by proxy the USA. Will allow the USA and Japan to balloon defense spending again and develop some really cool hardware. W/O a nice new evil enemy we’d be stuck in a quagmire. Roosevelt needed a war to turn the economy around, and the west needs a good enemy.

  4. You bigots are so anti-Chinese and ignorant. Japan is the one stirring things up because it wants to go back to militarism and imperialism–a lesson they failed to learn because they were not annihilated during WW2.
    The enemy of Japan is China and USA, and they are looking for revenge. China knows this but the US is too stupid to understand and plays along with Japan because it feels it can control Japan and use Japan against China.
    Let me just ask this: Which country attacked Pearl Habor? There is the saying, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.
    China is a big country, with no need for aggression against others. Japan has always wanted to rule Asia, and one must never forget WW2, and the fact that Japan has not regretted or repented for WW2–it only regrets that it lost, and never repentent.
    The real enemy of the US is Japan, not China. Since when is Japan a friend to US? The smiling Japanese is courteous to your face, hiding the dagger it likes to plunge into your back.

    • Here is my theory as to who we should all be really concerned about is actually England look at that place they are rebuilding their armed forces and they are dominating high quality TV programing.

      But really on a more serious note both Japan and Korea South/North are in the same spot of wanting to have world domination/control of one another or China or anything bigger than themselves. But their bark is bigger than their bite and as with most things this is 200% posturing and 20% actual military expansion. To the asian mindset I have seen in South Korea there are disengaged young people and older generations trying to save face when it comes to military thought.
      I as for my personal security I live in Canada and am 100% sure Switzerland could take out our military at any moment so I chose to live in a blissful state of hoping that at least Brittan or France or whoever wants to recolonize the 49th parallel will come to our rescue.

Comments are closed.