China Marketing Wing-Loong II UCAV as an Efficient and Inexpensive Killing Machine

By | Apr 20, 2017 05:28 AM EDT

Wing-Loong II and its weapons load-out. (Photo : CAIG)

China is portraying its new CAIG Wing-Loong II unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) as an accurate killing platform whose lethality can easily be enhanced by a series of upgrades.

First flown only last Feb. 17, Wing-Loong II is China's largest UCAV and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). As a UCAV, Wing-Loong II is being marketed to international customers as a cheaper but equally capable version of the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper, the deadliest UCAV in the world.

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The Wing Loong series was developed by Chengdu Aircraft Design and Research Institute (CADI), a unit of state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). They are manufactured by Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group (CAIG).

"The Wing-Loong series has a reputation as a "pioneer in wartime, an engineer in peacetime and versatile everywhere," said Li Yidong, deputy chief designer of CADI.

"Previous models had launched thousands of rounds of various weapons with an accuracy rate over 90 percent."

Li also noted Wing-Loong endured harsh and adverse conditions such as scorching deserts, highland gales and high altitude take-offs and landings.

Three Wing-Loong I UAVs once conducted a containment and control mission in a war zone around the clock for seven consecutive days.

"Practical combat experience like this is imperative for modifying and developing Chinese UAS (unmanned aerial systems) equipment, including Wing-Loong and other types of UAS," said Li.

Li said the successful test showed that China had the capability to deliver new generation reconnaissance and strike UAS products to foreign military customers.

Wing Loong II is a medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE), multi-role UAS integrated with both reconnaissance and strike capabilities.

"It can rapidly identify then strike against time-critical and fleeting targets. The capability is not possessed by previous unmanned aircraft, even manned aircraft," said Li.

In it military guise, Wing Loong is a cost-effective, easy-to-operate, multi-purpose and long-endurance hunter-reconnaissance UAS. It's intended for use as a surveillance and aerial reconnaissance platform and as UCAV fitted with air-to-surface weapons.

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