The Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) announced that the Chengdu Wing Loong II armed drone successfully engaged five different targets in succession in a single sortie, China’s state-run news agency Xinhua reported on December 31.
Citing AVIC, Xinhua stated that the Wing Loong II “achieved a hit rate of 100 percent” against “five targets in succession with five different types of missiles in a single sortie.”
Designed by the Chengdu Aircraft Design and Research Institute (CADI) and marketed by AVIC, the Wing Loong II is a medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The Wing Loong II is an improved variant of the original Wing Loong, which first flew in 2007.
According to Xinhua, Chengdu had put the Wing Loong II through different tests, including live firing tests against fixed and moving targets as well as in time-sensitive targeting scenarios. Citing CADI, Xinhua claims that the Wing Loong II is the first Chinese UAV platform wherein one station can operate two vehicles.
Lauding the Wing Loong II, CADI’s president, Ji Xiaoguang was quoted stating that the Wing Loong-series “has realized operation normalization, been used in actual combat, and made remarkable achievements.”
AVIC formally revealed the Wing Loong II in November 2016. Chengdu conducted the UAV’s maiden test flight in February 2017. The Wing Loong II has a payload of 400 kg available for air-to-surface munitions and/or intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment, such as electro-optical and infrared turrets. It has an endurance of 32 hours, top speed of 370 km/h and service ceiling of nearly 30,000 ft.
The Wing Loong II among several Chinese MALE UAV designs available on the market, with the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) CH-4B being its main competitor. Xinhua reports that the Wing Loong II achieved the “largest order of Chinese advanced large-scale UAVs in the overseas market” prior to its maiden test flight. Neither AVIC or CADI revealed the customer.
Prospective Wing Loong II customers can include existing Wing Loong users, such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Kazakhstan. In September 2016, Arab News reported that Saudi Arabia signed a deal with China for the Wing Loong. In June 2016, Pakistan had conducted an “experimental flight” of an unspecified UAV that bore a strong resemblance to the Wing Loong.