China has rolled out its latest combat drone for its first public flight, after Beijing released footage of the Wing Loong I-D combat unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which can carry over 10 different types of weapons (up to 881 lbs) and operate up to 35 continuous hours without refueling.
It is China's first all-composite unmanned aerial vehicle, which Beijing plans to sell to customers worldwide, according to Sina news.
the Pterosaur-1D is basically compatible with most of the pterosaur-1/2 weapons, including the BA-7 air-to-ground missile, the YZ-212 laser-guided bomb, the YZ-102A killing bomb and the 50 kg LS-. 6 miniature guided bombs -Sina (translated)
One of the missiles is China's BA-7, or Blue Arrow-7 laser guided munition, reported to be one of the most powerful anti-tank missiles in the world according to Chinese media. According to military blog QQ.com, the BA-7 can destroy tanks with armor as thick as 1.4 meters (55") from nearly 23,000 feet away.
The UAV can also carry the YZ-102A anti-personnel bomb, YZ-212 laser-guided bomb and a 50kg LS-6 mini guided bomb according to Sina.
According to Sina, the Wing Loong I-D has a wider wing span of 17.5 metres (57.4 feet), compared to Wing Loong I's 14 metres (45.9 feet). In addition, it can carry an external load of up to 400 kilograms (881 pounds), compared to Wing Loong I's 100 kilograms (220 pounds).
Wing Loong I-D completed its maiden flight at an airport in western China yesterday.
According to CGTN, which released the video of the flight, Wing Loong I-D flew for about 30 minutes before landing smoothly. -Daily Mail
The Wing Loong's sister aircraft - the Wing Loong II stealth bomber, can be equipped with laser-guided missiles which can destroy targets from 25 miles away, has a top speed of 230 miles an hour, and can fly as high as 30,000 feet according to an earlier report by Xinhua News Agency. It was designed as an answer to the US-deployed MQ-9 reaper.
For comparison, the General Atomics MQ1-Predator drone has an endurance of 24 hours, a top altitude of 25,000 ft., and can carry three types of missiles (AGM-114 Hellfire, AIM-92 Stinger and AGM-175 Griffin air-to-surface).
The "deadlier" MQ-9 Reaper (sometimes referred to as the "Predator B") can fly as high as 50,000 feet - more than double that of China's new drone, and has 7 hardpoints which can accept over 3,000 lbs of armaments.
Just wait till these things get AI...