The Chengdu GJ-2, also known as Wing Loong 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.

Wing Loong II
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
Developed into Chengdu Wing Loong-3

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

The Wing Loong II UAV MALE is an enlarged version of the Wing Loong I with a 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 the capability of carrying bombs, rockets, or air-to-surface missiles. A satellite communications antenna is situated on the 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]
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 III Yes, 2300 kg 6200 kg Turboprop - 40 hours
WZ-10 (Wing Loong-10) Yes, 400 kg 3200 kg Turbojet/Turbofan 620 km/h 32 hours

Variants edit

GJ-2
Chinese military version of Wing Loong II. Distinguished by the lack of winglets. Officially entered service with the PLAAF in November 2018.[4]
Wing Loong II
An upgraded variant of the Wing Loong-1, with provisions for up to twelve air-to-surface missiles.[5][6][7]
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 in 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.[8]
Wing Loong 2D[9]
Wing Loong 2Y[9]
Wing Loong 3
Enlarged Wing Loong 2 with longer range and endurance hours.[10][11][12] It's the first model in the Wing Loong series that is capable of deploying air-to-air missiles and reach intercontinental range.[13] The drone was fitted with the PL-10E infrared missile, a sonobuoy launcher, and miniature UAV under its wings at the airshow display.[12]

Operational history edit

The Wing Loong II was used by the UAE to perform airstrikes against the Government of National Accord (GNA) 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 Libyan National Army (LNA) airstrikes using Wing Loong IIs; the second batch delivered in July was to replace the losses of the first.[14][15][16] As of June 2020, a total of 6 Wing Loong IIs have been reported shot down or lost in Libya, all operated by the LNA.[17] 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.[18]

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.[19]

During the 2021 Henan floods, because of the interruption of communication in some areas due to flooding, the 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.[20][21]

In 2023 the Nigerian Air Force seems to have struck "Boko Haram" militants using the Wing Loong II.[22][23] A video of one of the strikes seems to be available online [24]

In 2024, Pakistan carried out a strike on militants within the Iranian border, using Wing Loong IIs along side JF-17s and F-16s [25]

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[35][36]

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)[37]

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. 18 March 2023.
  3. ^ "Is China at the Forefront of Drone Technology?". 29 May 2018.
  4. ^ "Airshow China 2018: Wing Loong II armed reconnaissance UAV enters PLAAF service | Jane's 360". Archived from the original on 2018-11-07. Retrieved 2020-01-09.
  5. ^ "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.
  6. ^ 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.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ "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.
  9. ^ a b "China unveils giant new drone that may point to future of air warfare". The Jerusalem Post | JPost.com. Retrieved 2022-11-12.
  10. ^ "Chinese defense aviation industry unveils its new Wing Loong 3 UAV at AirShow China 2022". armyrecognition. 6 November 2022.
  11. ^ "China Introduces Large Wing Loong III UCAS". Aviation Week. 7 November 2022.
  12. ^ a b Trevithick, Joseph (7 November 2022). "All The Air Combat Developments Out Of China's Massive Air Show". The Drive.
  13. ^ Wang, Amber (9 November 2022). "China unveils Wing Loong-3 intercontinental military drone with self-defense mechanism at Zhuhai air show". South China Morning Post.
  14. ^ "Chinese drones hunt Turkish drones in Libya air war". South China Morning Post. 2019-09-29. Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  15. ^ "Drone war in Libya: Wing Loong II versus Bayraktar TB2". African Military. 26 September 2019. Archived from the original on 23 September 2020.
  16. ^ "Libya:Drone test laboratory for a new type of air warfare". Air & Cosmos International. 15 November 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2021.
  17. ^ "CAIG Wing Loong II - All losses by type (modification)". Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ "UAE implicated in lethal drone strike in Libya". BBC News. 28 August 2020. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  20. ^ 观察者网 (2021-07-22). "联系上了!"翼龙无人机抵达你镇上空"" (in Chinese (China)). 观察者网. Retrieved 2021-07-22.
  21. ^ 杨晨 (2021-07-22). "驰援河南 "翼龙"化身空中移动"基站"" (in Chinese (China)). 封面新闻. Retrieved 2021-07-22.
  22. ^ Video
  23. ^ Emerald Insight
  24. ^ Twitter
  25. ^ Twitter
  26. ^ Akramov (2021-09-23). "L'Algérie va renforcer sa flotte de drones". MENADEFENSE (in French). Retrieved 2021-11-11.
  27. ^ @fab_hinz (June 16, 2023). "Algeria seems to have taken delivery of Chinese Wing Loong II UAVs with one example visible at Ain Oussera Airbase in mid-May" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
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  29. ^ "IDEX-2021: China Displays Its High-Tech Military Hardware At Abu Dhabi Expo: Watch". Latest Asian, Middle-East, EurAsian, Indian News. 2021-02-24. Retrieved 2021-03-12.
  30. ^ "Nigeria acquires sophisticated drones capable of fighting Boko Haram, bandits for 26 hours nonstop". Daily Nigerian. 2020-11-10. Retrieved 2020-11-10.
  31. ^ Dominguez, Gabriel; Bedi, Rahul (9 October 2018). "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.
  32. ^ "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.
  33. ^ 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.
  34. ^ 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.
  35. ^ "[今日关注]中国彩虹五无人机首飞成功 正式进入量产 | CCTV-4". YouTube.
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  37. ^ "Saudi Arabia".