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24 Mar 2024

Algeria Strengthens Military with Advanced Chinese Drones

Algeria Strengthens Military with Advanced Chinese Drones
Copyright: Defense Arabia

Algeria recently acquired four cutting-edge WJ-700 Falcon unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from China, significantly boosting its military’s reconnaissance and combat abilities.

This strategic move, reported by Algerian outlet ORCA Military in March 2024, comes amid regional tensions.

The WJ-700 Falcons, currently undergoing final testing, belong to the High-Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) class. These drones can strike targets up to 100 kilometers away with missiles and neutralize aerial threats. This acquisition is particularly relevant considering Morocco’s ongoing military modernization efforts.

Developed by a subsidiary of the Chinese state-owned CASIC, the WJ-700 made its debut at the 2018 Airshow China and first flew in 2021. Designed for high-altitude and high-speed operations, it boasts a remarkable payload capacity, allowing it to carry heavy weaponry beyond enemy defenses. CASIC expects the WJ-700 to be a major player in both Chinese and international markets for the next decade.

One of the most striking features of the WJ-700 is its size. This enables it to carry substantial weapons, including anti-ship missiles. This makes it a powerful weapon against strategic targets like radars, warships, and command centers. Specifications released at the 2018 Zhuhai Airshow reveal a maximum take-off weight of 3,500 kg, a payload exceeding 800 kg, a flight time of up to 20 hours, and an operational ceiling of 15 kilometers. Powered by a turbojet engine, the WJ-700 can reach speeds close to 700 km/h and is equipped with electronic countermeasures to improve its survivability.

China’s military drone sales are projected to capture around 25% of the global market by 2024, generating an estimated 17 billion yuan ($2.6 billion). This figure is expected to soar past 110 billion yuan (around $16.8 billion) within the next decade, according to the People’s Liberation Army.


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