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Chinese AVIC company delivers 50th Wing Loong II MALE drone

Chengdu-based AVIC UAS, a drone branch of the State-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), has delivered the 50th Wing Loong II drone, the company said in a statement released on its WeChat account last week. It did not give further details about the delivery, or the identity of the client. Liu Xuanzun reports on Global Times.

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Chinese AVIC company delivers 50th Wing Loong II drone AVIC Wing Loong II UAV (Picture source: Army Recognition)

Compared with the Wing Loong I, the first entry in the Wing Loong drone series, the Wing Loong II is aimed at high-end users in the international market as it is equipped with more advanced technologies, a Chinese military expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times on January 5. Having exported 50 Wing Loong II drones shows that China can now target the world's high-end drone market, the expert said.

More types of advanced Chinese drones, including stealth-capable ones that have made appearances in air shows, could get international customers in the future, the expert predicted.

AVIC started exporting the domestically developed Wing Loong series in 2010, including the Wing Loong I, the Wing Loong I-D and the Wing Loong II. A total of 100 had been exported by the end of 2018, the Xinhua News Agency reported in December 2018.

By early 2019, Wing Loong series drones operated by different clients have fired more than 3,000 rounds of live munitions with an overall accuracy rate higher than 90 percent on both stationary and moving battlefield targets, China Central Television reported at that time.

The Wing Loong II is an improved version of the Wing Loong 1 UAV in the category of MALE (Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance). Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) unveiled the concept of Wing Loong II at the Aviation Expo China in Beijing in September 2015 and a prototype of the Wing Loong II was presented for the first time to the public during the Airshow China exhibition, held in Zhuhai from 1-6 November, 2016. It was also presented for the first time in Europe during the Paris Air Show in June 2017.

Compared with Wing Loong I, the Wing Loong II has an optimized aerodynamic design, an improved airframe and upgraded airborne systems, featuring better capabilities in terms of flight, payload and information capacity, In March 2017, a prototype of the Wing Loong II conducted a 31- minute test flight from an unidentified airport in northwestern China.