CAIG Wing Loong II

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Pterodactyl II
Wing Loong II side view.jpg
Wing Loong II at Dubai Air Show 2017
Role MALE UCAV
Manufacturer Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group
Designer Chengdu Aircraft Design Institute
First flight February 2017[1]
Introduction 2017
Status In service
Primary user People's Liberation Army Air Force
Produced 2015-present
Developed from CAIG Wing Loong

The Chengdu Wing Loong II (Chinese: 翼龙 II; pinyin: Yìlóng Èr; lit. 'Pterodactyl II'), military designation GJ-2, is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) capable of remotely controlled or autonomous flight developed by the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group in the People's Republic of China. Intended for use as a surveillance and aerial reconnaissance and precision strike platform, Chengdu unveiled the concept of Wing Loong II at the Aviation Expo China in Beijing in September 2015. Wing Loong II has long range strike capability with a satellite link.

Development[edit]

The 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.[2]

Design[edit]

Wing Loong II front view, Dubai Air Show 2017

Wing Loong II UAV MALE is an enlarged version of Wing Loong I with longer body and wider wing span. It has a slender fuselage, V-tail and ventral fin. The aircraft features retractable landing gear, including two main wheels under the fuselage and one single wheel under the nose. Each wing has three Hardpoints under the wings with capability of carrying bombs, rockets or air-to-surface missiles. A satellite communications antenna is situated on top front surface of the fuselage, offering long range data transmission between the UAV and the ground station.[2]

Comparison[edit]

Comparison of Chinese military UAVs[3][4][5]
Variant Armaments Takeoff weight Engine type Maximum cruise speed Operational endurance
CH-1 No 220 kg Piston 140 km/h 6 hours
CH-2 No 220 kg Piston 160 km/h 8 hours
CH-3 Yes, 80 kg 650 kg Piston 220 km/h 12 hours
CH-4 Yes, 345 kg 1330 kg Piston 180 km/h 30 hours for recon / 12 hours for strike
CH-5 Yes, 1000 kg 3300 kg Turboprop 220 km/h 60 hours for recon / 30 hours with 8 AR-1 missiles
GJ-1 (Wing Loong I) Yes, 200 kg 1100 kg Piston 280 km/h 20 hours
GJ-2 (Wing Loong II) Yes, 480 kg 4200 kg Turboprop 370 km/h 32 hours / 20 hours at max speed
Wing Loong-10 Yes, 400 kg 3200 kg Turbojet 370 km/h 32 hours

Variants[edit]

Wing Loong II
An upgraded variant of the Wing Loong-1, with provisions for up to twelve air-to-surface missiles.[6][7][8]
GJ-2
Chinese military version of Wing Loong II. Distinguished by the lack of winglets. Officially entered service with the PLAAF in November 2018.[9]
Wing Loong 2H
Civilian, communication, emergency response variant, equipped with synthetic aperture radar and optoelectronic pod which is able to relay and amplify telecommunication signals. The Wing Loong 2H debuted at July 2021 when it was deployed to assist with rescue work in Central China's Henan Province after unprecedented heavy rainfall flooding, providing a stable communication signal that can be directly used by normal phones with areas of over 50 square kilometers.[10]

Operational history[edit]

The Wing Loong II is used by UAE to perform airstrikes against the Government of National Accord in the Libyan civil war. The GNA received 12 Bayraktar TB2s in two batches between May and July. At least half of them have been destroyed during LNA airstrikes using Wing Loong IIs; the second batch delivered in July was to replace the losses of the first.[11][12] As June 2020, a total of 6 Wing Loong IIs have been reported shot down or lost in Libya, all operated by the LNA.[13] One was allegedly shot down by a laser: if this was true then it was the first time in history that a laser weapon shot down a combat vehicle.[14]

An investigation led by BBC Africa Eye and BBC Arabic Documentaries revealed that the UAE used Wing Loong II drones to fire Chinese Blue Arrow 7 missiles at a military academy in Libya's capital, Tripoli, in January 2020, killing 26 unarmed cadets. The drone was operated from Libya's Al-Khadim air base which has been under the control of the UAE.[15]

During the 2021 Henan floods, because of the interruption of communication in some areas due to flooding, Ministry of Emergency Management dispatched its emergency disaster-response Chengdu Wing Loong II (Wing Loong 2H) to the corresponding areas, and carried out nearly 6 hours of ground reconnaissance and communication relay services.[16][17]

Operators[edit]

Specifications[edit]

Data from Army Recognition[2]

General characteristics

  • Crew: None
  • Length: 11 m (36 ft 1 in)
  • Wingspan: 20.5 m (67 ft 3 in)
  • Height: 4.1 m (13 ft 5 in)
  • Max takeoff weight: 4,200 kg (9,259 lb)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 370 km/h (230 mph, 200 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 200 km/h (120 mph, 110 kn)
  • Stall speed: 150 km/h (93 mph, 81 kn)
  • Endurance: 32 hours
  • Service ceiling: 9,900 m (32,500 ft)

Armament
Up to 480 kg[22][23]

Avionics

  • Air to ground radars
  • GPS communication system
  • Electro-optical pod with day light and infrared cameras and sensors
  • Satellite link
  • Communications range: >1,000 km (620 mi) with SatCom, ~150 km (93 mi) from Ground Control Station (GCS)[24]

See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

Related lists

References[edit]

  1. ^ "China's AVIC Achieves First Flight of Wing-Loong II UAV".
  2. ^ a b c "WING LOONG II UAV MALE". Army Recognition.
  3. ^ https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2016-04/21/content_24710359.htm
  4. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eA1Szsicm-0
  5. ^ "Is China at the Forefront of Drone Technology?". 29 May 2018.
  6. ^ "组图:翼龙-2无人机挂载能力强悍_新闻_腾讯网". News.qq.com. Retrieved 2020-01-19.
  7. ^ 2016-10-28 13:57:20 来源:观察者网 (2016-10-28). ""翼龙2"或入列中国空军 "彩虹5"将出口中东-搜狐军事频道". Mil.sohu.com. Retrieved 2020-01-19.
  8. ^ Wong, Kevin (7 November 2018). "Airshow China 2018: Wing Loong II armed reconnaissance UAV enters PLAAF service". IHS Jane's 360. Zhuhai. Archived from the original on 2018-11-07. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-11-07. Retrieved 2020-01-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "国产翼龙-2H无人机为通信中断区搭建空中移动基站-新华网". www.xinhuanet.com. Retrieved 2021-07-23.
  11. ^ "Chinese drones hunt Turkish drones in Libya air war". South China Morning Post. 2019-09-29. Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  12. ^ "Drone war in Libya: Wing Loong II versus Bayraktar TB2". African Military. 26 September 2019.
  13. ^ "CAIG Wing Loong II - All losses by type (modification)". Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  14. ^ Timokhin, Alexander. "Turkey uses laser weapon technology to shoot down Chinese UAV Wing Loong II in Libya". Army Recognition. Archived from the original on 2020-04-16. Retrieved 2019-08-12.
  15. ^ "UAE implicated in lethal drone strike in Libya". BBC News. 28 August 2020. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  16. ^ 观察者网 (2021-07-22). "联系上了!"翼龙无人机抵达你镇上空"" (in Chinese). 观察者网. Retrieved 2021-07-22.
  17. ^ 杨晨 (2021-07-22). "驰援河南 "翼龙"化身空中移动"基站"" (in Chinese). 封面新闻. Retrieved 2021-07-22.
  18. ^ Dominguez, Gabriel (9 October 2018). [Rahul "Bedi"] Check |url= value (help). China, Pakistan to jointly produce Wing Loong II UAVs, says report. London, New Delhi. Archived from the original on 9 October 2018. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  19. ^ "Chinese Wing Loong II drones sold to Pakistan". Army Recognition. 11 October 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-10-11. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  20. ^ Nene, Vidi (11 October 2018). "China and Pakistan to Jointly Produce 48 Wing Loong II Drones". Drone Below. Archived from the original on 2018-10-11. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  21. ^ Biggers, Christopher (26 January 2018). "UAE revealed as Wing Loong II launch customer". IHS Jane's 360. Washington, DC. Archived from the original on 26 January 2018. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  22. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eA1Szsicm-0
  23. ^ https://www.armyrecognition.com/images/stories/asia/china/unmanned_systems/wing_loong_2/Wing-Loong_2_II_UAV_MALE_armed_Unmanned_Aerial_Vehicle_Medium-Altitude_Long_Endurance_line_drawing_blueprint_001.jpg
  24. ^ "Saudi Arabia".

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