Xianglong Unmanned Reconnaissance Aerial Vehicle at Chengdu

During the Air Show China 2006, the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) unveiled the model of its “Xianglong” unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) concept. The UAV appeared to be a high-altitude, long-duration UAV for strategic reconnaissance role, similar in size and arrangement to the U.S. RQ-4 Global Hawk. The Xianglong completed its high-speed taxing test in October 2008, and the maiden flight is expected to take place in early 2009.

Xianglong is equipped with a jet engine mounted on top of the fuselage between the V-shape tail wings. According to Chinese media reports, Xianglong has a normal take-off weight of 7,500kg and a mission payload of 650kg. The UAV has a cruise speed of 750km/h and a maximum range of 7,000km. Unlike the Global Hawk, Xianglong does not possess global operation capability. The UAV is only intended to operate in Asia and Pacific region.

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