|Prei Dy |||Feb 28, 2017 04:06 PM EST|
(Photo : YouTube) China claimed that its Wing Loong II unmanned aerial vehicle received its largest foreign order.
China has received the largest overseas order for its Wing Loong II strike-capable reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), a step closer to its goal to become a major military exporter, state-backed Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday.
The sale to an unidentified customer is dubbed as the "biggest overseas purchase order in the history of Chinese [UAV] foreign military sales." The size and value of the order were not disclosed. The order for the Wing Loong II was placed before the UAV successfully completed its maiden flight.
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The Wing Loong II was developed by the Chengdu Aircraft Design and Research Institute, a subsidiary of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China. A production-ready version of the UAV was first unveiled last November during the Airshow China 2016 exhibition.
The UAV was ben made to carry out reconnaissance, surveillance, and ground strike operations. With system extensions, it can also perform missions such as intelligence collection, electronic warfare as well as search and rescue operation.
"[The first flight] marks China's new generation reconnaissance and strike [UAV]. Following the United States, China becomes another country capable of developing such new-generation large reconnaissance and strike UAVs," Li Yidong, chief designer of the Wing Loong UAV series, said.
China has been developing military drones in a bid to get a market share from the US and Israel. It is luring its clients with cheaper technology and is open to do business with countries that Western states are hesitant to negotiate with.
The predecessor of China's Wing Loong II sells for only $1 million, way cheaper compared with the US-made MQ-9 Reaper that is priced at around $30 million, according to Chinese media.
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