Warplanes: ISIL Adopts Chinese UAVs


September 4, 2015: Not all the aircraft over Syria belong to the Syrian government or the American led anti-ISIL (the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) coalition. A growing number of rebel groups, many of them Islamic terrorists, are using Chinese made quadcopters. The most popular is the Chinese Phantom quadcopter. The latest model, the Phantom 3, weighs 3.9 kg (8.6 pounds) can stay in the air about 20 minutes per flight and can go up to 2,000 meters from the operator. The operator can see (at 720p) what is under the Phantom using a small display and capture a higher resolution video (“2.7k” or 1080p) on a 16 GB micro memory card on the UAV. The Phantom 3 costs a thousand dollars and is widely available. It is easy to operate and has flight control software that makes it easy to operate and keeps the video image stable. You can equip these with a night vision camera. Max altitude is over 500 meters (1,600 feet) but most Phantoms operate lower down because getting to higher altitude takes time. 

There are cheaper quadcopters and fixed wing UAVs and more expensive ($10,000 or more) ones. But for the needs of irregular forces in a chaotic combat zone relative cheap ones like Phantom get the job done. The sweet spot appears to be the thousand dollar Phantom 3 or similar models. It gets the job done, is easy to operate and you can afford to lose a few.






Help Keep Us From Drying Up

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling.

Each month we count on your contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage.
Subscribe   Contribute   Close