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Chinese UCAVs remain popular, but buyer beware!

9th February 2022 - 21:58 GMT | by Gordon Arthur in Christchurch


The all-composite Wing Loong IE achieved its maiden flight in mid-January 2022. (Photo: AVIC)

Chinese continues its strong presence on the international UCAV market, with new models coming on stream. However, not all its customers remain enamoured with their Chinese-bought UCAVs.

The Wing Loong 1E UAV successfully performed its maiden flight in China on 18 January, flying for a total of 22 minutes.

This variant of AVIC’s Wing Loong is distinguished by its fuselage and wings made entirely from composites. AVIC has released no specifications, but the designer claims better endurance, efficiency, range and reliability.

Minor modifications on the Wing Loong IE include a slightly modified nose and winglets to improve aerodynamics. Like the baseline Wing Loong I, it will carry weapons on underwing hardpoints.

It is unclear how the Wing Loong IE differs from the existing ID, which first

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Gordon Arthur


Gordon Arthur

Gordon Arthur was the Asia Pacific editor for Shephard Media. Born in Scotland and educated …

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