In another indication of rapidly developing Chinese defense aerospace industry, Chinese Internet sources has revealed another image of new Chinese high altitude, high endurance, long-range Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (HALE UAV).
Soar Dragon HALE (high altitude, long endurance) UAV uses long thin diamond-shape wing structure to achieve larger wingspan which is suitable for sustained high altitude flight and long endurance. China displayed the model of the Chinese Soar Dragon UAV in its “Zhuhai Air Show” in 2006.
Soar Dragon UAV uses rear mounted intake like US RQ-4 Global Hawk but unlike Global Hawk it uses single traditional tail plane. New Chinese HALE UAV is developed by the China Aviation Industry Corporation (CAIC).
Another HALE (high altitude, long endurance) UAV was photographed by the Chinese military enthusiasts while it was conducting high-speed taxi trials. This UAV is sometimes referred as Xianglong UAV (Chinese Global Hawk) although Xianglong is smaller in size when compared to the United States’ Global Hawk UAV.
'CADI' logo on UAV model indicates that its design received input from Chengdu Aircraft Design and Research Institute. Soar Dragon UAV is reported to have normal take-off weight of 7500kg and it can carry a payload of 650kg. Soar Dragon UAV can cruise at speed of 750 kilometers per hour and its maximum range is 7000 kilometers.
Xianglong UAV has an airframe similar to the States’ Global Hawk UAV with twin V-shape tailfins tilted outwards. Both UAVs uses SATCOM antenna which is installed inside their nose bulge to transmit data over thousands of kilometers. Both UAVs are powered by the Chinese turbofan engines.
Appearance of this new Chinese HALE UAV and Xianglong UAV shows that there is strong competition among companies to win the contract to supply high-altitude, long-duration UAV to the PLAAF.
Both UAVs uses SATCOM antenna which is installed inside their nose bulge to transmit data over thousands of kilometers. Both UAVs are powered by the Chinese turbofan engines.