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Algeria acquires advanced WJ-700 Falcon drones from China.

| Defense News Aerospace 2024

According to the Twitter account ORCA Military in a post dated March 13, 2024, Algeria enhanced its military capabilities by acquiring four advanced WJ-700 Falcon drones from the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp (CASIC). These High-Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) drones, currently in the final stages of testing, are designed for both reconnaissance and precision strike operations, capable of engaging targets up to 100 kilometers away. This strategic move occurs amidst ongoing regional tensions, particularly with neighboring Morocco.
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Algeria acquires advanced WJ 700 Falcon drones from China China WJ-700 Falcon drone (Picture source: China Press)

The WJ-700 Falcon, developed by Beijing Haiying General Aviation Equipment, a division of CASIC, was unveiled in 2018 and made its first flight in January 2021. Capable of carrying heavy payloads and deploying large-caliber munitions at high altitudes and speeds, the WJ-700 is aimed at both domestic and international markets over the next decade.

Features of the WJ-700 include a maximum takeoff weight of 3,500 kg, a payload capacity of over 800 kg, an endurance of 20 hours, and an operational ceiling of 15 km, with speeds nearing 700 km/h. It is also equipped with electronic countermeasures.

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China anticipates that Chinese military drone sales will account for about 25% of the global market by 2024, with projected revenues of 17 billion yuan ($2.6 billion) and exceeding 110 billion yuan ($16.8 billion) over the next decade.

Algeria's existing drone arsenal includes Chinese-made CH-4 and CH-3 drones, and Algeria is set to incorporate the Turkish Aksungur drone after ordering six units. The Aksungur, designed by Turkish Aerospace International (TAI), is suitable for ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance) and attack missions. Additionally, Algeria has ordered ten Anka-S drones from TAI, thus enhancing its aerial warfare capabilities.

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