US secret documents leaked to the public via Discord chats reveal more details about a high-tech Chinese spy drone, according to a new report. The US military estimates that the WZ-8 drones can fly at over three times the speed of sound and at very high altitudes. This enables them to spy on US Navy activities around Taiwan and US military bases. China is now ready to use the drones.
The Washington Post cites documents believed to be from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. The United States suspects a young member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard of having published hundreds of documents on the Internet. The suspect was arrested. The publications reveal numerous US assessments of other countries and trouble spots around the world.
A threat to Taiwan
The WZ-8 drones were first publicly displayed in 2019 during celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party. At the time, experts did not believe that the deep black planes were fully operational. This has since changed, according to the documents. The rocket-propelled drone is based in eastern China and is under the command of a People’s Liberation Army military unit that specializes in enforcing China’s claims against Taiwan, whose independence is not recognized by the Chinese authorities.
The experts in the military assume that the drone can provide real-time data for conflict strategies and to identify missile targets. She is currently not armed, but this could be retrofitted. The unmanned aerial vehicle, which is 11.5 meters long and has a wingspan of 6.7 meters, according to the Chinese news agency Xinhua, will first be leveled with twin-engine H6-M Badger bombers and then released. The two rocket motors are then activated there. According to US assessments, Taiwan is ill-prepared for Chinese air superiority in the event of an invasion.
China is arming massively
The documents also contain information about other spy balloons. In recent months there has been a conflict between the USA and China because the alleged weather balloons were also flying over the USA.
China aims to be militarily capable of capturing Taiwan by 2027, it said. To this end, the country is also developing hypersonic and anti-satellite weapons. The WZ-8 drone is currently difficult to combat with US air-to-air weapons. Both the US and China declined to comment on the documents to the Washington Post.