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.