A Chinese website (whose name remains anonymous) has leaked the very first pictures of a top secret indigenous Chinese Drone dubbed as “Xianglong”. Despite the participation of a small mock up model that appeared in the 2006 China Air Show, it is the first time that the massive Chinese drone has itself been photographed after its secret development.
The aircraft is rumoured to have been developed by Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation (CAC) which also manufactures the J-10 and the J-20. The photographer and the location at which the snapshot was taken remains unknown.
The overall appearance of the drone is very much similar to USAF’s Global Hawk which is a reconnaissance drone. The Chinese drone seems to be 14.3 m long and 24.9 m wide with a horizontal tail (Global Hawk has V-shaped tail).
It is speculated that that drone has been designed to conduct reconnaissance operations from an altitude of 18-20,000 meters at a cruise speed of 750 km/h.
The drone is reportedly to be used to spy over the entire Korean Peninsula in real time.
Further details remain murky but the images alone are enough to give nightmares to American commanders who found it hard to cope with the J-20, the First Chinese Stealth Fighter.
- The Mock up Model from 2006 China Air Show: