China has recently unveiled a flying saucer combat aircraft that can be a gamechanger in global defence sector. Though nations such as the US have already experimented with UFO-like attack choppers, this is the first time that China is working on this kind of technology. Beijing’s new initiative was confirmed only after photos of the ‘flying saucer’ went viral online. State-run Chinese daily Global Times has also confirmed the development stating that the scale prototype was displayed at the 5th China Helicopter Exposition in Tianjin. The flying saucer aircraft that looks straight out of a sci-fi movie is called as ‘Super Great White Shark’.
Coated with stealth material, the aircraft can reach a top speed of 650 kmph. The chopper will have the capability of firing missiles at enemy targets. “Two pilots can fit in the cockpit, and can steer the direction of the aircraft by controlling a set of rudders located under the rotor system,” the Global Times report said. The helicopter has a maximum takeoff weight of 6,000 kilograms, a ceiling of 6,000 meters and a climb rate of 16.5 meters per second. A scale prototype of the aircraft will make its maiden flight at the 2020 edition of Airshow China in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province, China Central Television said.
Earlier this year, China announced a 7.5 per cent increase in its defence budget for this year, hiking it to a whopping USD 177.61 billion, over three times that of India. China is the world's second largest military spender after the US.
The increase this year is lower than that of last year's 8.1 per cent which amounted to USD 175 billion. Last year in yuan terms China had allocated 1.11 trillion yuan.
China, which increased its defence budget in double digits till 2015, has been lowering it to single digit hikes since 2016. China's budgeted defence spending growth rate stood at 7.6 per cent in 2016, 7 per cent in 2017 and 8.1 per cent in 2018 as its economy too has been steadily slowing down after a double-digit growth in 2010.
With this year's increase, China's defence spending moved closer to the USD 200 billion mark, making it the highest spender on defence after the United States.
India's defence budget this year was increased by 6.87 per cent to Rs 3.18 lakh crore against last year's allocation of Rs 2.98 lakh crore, notwithstanding expectations of a major hike when China and Pakistan were bolstering their military capabilities.