China to Set up Joint Military, Civilian Logistic System with Drones

According to’s report on January 27 titled “Air force uses drones for the first time to conduct drills of joint supply”, for fast logistic services, in October 2017, Chinese air force signed an agreement on military and civilian strategic logistic cooperation with civilian logistic enterprises.

To ensure such cooperation, the air force has conducted pilot study on ten areas of cooperation including emergency transport of troops, fuel and other supplies to remote areas.

Recently it has organized joint military and civilian supply drills with three types of drones in Yunnan and Shaanxi participated by two civilian entities.

The first drill project was the simulated emergency transport of maintenance supplies from strategic reserve to a radar station in Southern theater where the radar was assumed out of order. The supplies were packed into 6 packets and be airdropped by the drones of a civilian enterprise SF Express to the radar station within 50 meters of their destination. It took only 60 minutes. If road transport had been used, it would have taken 2.5 hours.

The second drill project was the delivery of antitoxic serum from Xijing Hospital, Beijing to a certain radar station in Central Theater where a soldier was assumed to have been bitten by a viper. It took only 22 minutes for a small drone of SF Express to land smoothly at the basketball court in the radar station to be taken by a paramedic waiting there. Then the drone took off to return to its base on its own. As the radar station was located on hills with poor road, it took at least 2 hours to send the serum by road transport.

Both projects were organized in Beijing by the logistic department of the air force. According to the officers in charge at the department, the air force has been carrying out all-round study of the projects for the establishment of regular logistic system of drones.

Source: “Air force uses drones for the first time to conduct drills of joint supply” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese, full text of which can be viewed at