AVIC has introduced two high altitude long endurance (HALE) UAVs at this year's show that have a distinct emphasis on weapons payload.

In addition to the Wing Loong I, which has appeared at previous iterations of the event, this year sees the show debuts of the Wing Loong II and the Cloud Shadow.

According to AVIC, the Wing Loong II has a maximum takeoff weight of 4,200kg, nearly four times greater than the Wing Loong I. It also has six hard points, compared with just two for its sibling.

Wing Loong II UAV

Wing Loong II

Greg Waldron

Four of the Wing Loong II's hard points can carry double payloads, giving the system a potential payload of ten air-to-surface bombs and missiles. Several different weapons types, from small diameter bombs to anti-tank missiles, were displayed with the example in the status park.

At the AVIC stand a promotional, computer generated video depicts the Wing Loong II searching for targets using both synthetic aperture radar and an electro/optical sensor.

The aircraft destroys a house on the ground with a bomb, and transmits data to a sniper team who shoot a guard. When several enemy combatants drive away in a pickup truck, they are destroyed with an anti-tank missile.

As with the Wing-Loong I, the Wing Loong II's endurance is 20 hours. Both systems offer an auto-landing and auto-takeoff capability.

The Wing Loong II fits in a shipping container for transport. The entire system comprises the aircraft, a ground control station, and an integrated logistics system. Other missions include electronic intelligence (ELINT), radar jamming, communications intelligence (COMINT), communications relay, and others.

Another large AVIC UAS in the status park is called Cloud Shadow. Powered by a single turbojet, this aircraft resembles the General Atomics Avenger.

Cloud Shadow

Cloud Shadow

Greg Waldron

The system has three hard points on the wing, as well as a synthetic aperture radar and EO/IO sensor. It is displayed with ten distinct types of bomb and small missile.

A computer generated video at the AVIC stand shows it destroy a target 60km distant with a glide bomb. Later, it closes in to destroy a moving truck with an anti-tank missile.

AVIC offers Cloud Shadow in two configurations, the "reconnaissance attack" variant and one optimized solely for reconnaissance.

Source: FlightGlobal.com