New Chinese joined-wing UAV emerges

It shows a similarity with the Northrop Grumman Global Hawk type of Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) even if it seems much smaller than the High Altitude Long Endurange (HALE) kind of drone, suggesting it may be even smaller than a MALE (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) remotely piloted aircraft.

And above all, it shows an interesting joined-wing similar to that of the Chengdu Soaring Dragon.

We are describing the latest Chinese drone, spotted and filmed at an unknown location.

Few months after first image of Lijian (“sharp sword”), China’s first weaponized stealth drone, appeared on the prolific Chinese Internet, a new prototype has emerged (even though it is not clear when footage was filmed).

Noteworthy, the drone has no yet been painted with the typical dark radar absorbing paint, even if it features the cockpit-like mark of  what could be the antennas upper bay (possibly made of a different material to avoid interference caused by RAM coating).

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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.

6 Comments

  1. It’s nice that you’ve recognized this new UAV, but what has size got to do with being MALE or HALE? A small long endurance UAV can be high altitude, a large long endurance UAV can be medium altitude (for instance, MQ-9).

    This UAV with its box wing planform and jet engine, is clearly a HALE UAV like Soar Dragon and Global Hawk, only a little smaller, looking about MQ-9 sized.

  2. Sources say its an electronic warfare platform, by source I mean someone who posted an exact, and I mean down to the detail drawing of this aircraft 2 days before the first photo

    And its definitely bigger than the Predator, a lot bigger, using people in the truck as a reference its easy to tell the engine section cross-section is at least 2 meters in height, it only looks small because of the short landing gears. Besides the fact that its jet powered should be enough to tell what speed and altitude its designed for.

    Also worth mentioning the same source that posted this aircraft also posted another twin fuselage canard design that was described as a anti-stealth radar platform, by the looks of it probably VHF

  3. What’s the advantage of the joined wing over the single large straight wing found in western surveillance drones.

    Chinese also operates straight wing drone, so there must be a reason why they are moving to this new wing configuration.

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