Subscribe Free
in Defence / Features

Egypt inducts armed Chinese drones

Posted 29 April 2019 · Add Comment

The Egyptian Ministry of Defence has confirmed that it has taken the Chinese-built Chengdu Wing Loong unmanned air vehicle (UAV) into air force service, writes Jon Lake.

The aircraft was featured in a video broadcast on Egypt’s 45th Air Force Day on October 14, which was published on the ministry’s official social media pages.
The production included footage of a Wing Loong taking off from a desert air base, armed with what appeared to be a pair of Lán Jiàn-7 (Blue Arrow 7 or BA-7) laser-guided missiles on two of its four underwing hard-points.
The aircraft was shown attacking and destroying a ground target.
The video’s voiceover boasted: “The Egyptian military has been boosted with the latest global armament systems, including the multirole Rafale aircraft, F-16 fighter jets, Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopters and China’s Wing Loong armed aircraft.”
The Wing Loong (also known as the Pterodactyl I or the Yìlóng-1) is similar in appearance to the US Reaper UAV with a V-tail, but has more in common with the original RQ-1 Predator. The Wing Loong is powered by a similar 100-hp ROTAX 914 piston engine, and can carry a 200-kg payload, including 50-kg Blue Arrow-7 laser-guided missiles or LS-6 guided bombs, or YZ-102A or YZ-212 bombs.
In 2016, China’s Xinhua news agency reported that Egypt had requested the integration of a Model YJ-203 Ku-Band synthetic aperture and moving target indicator radar on its Wing Loong UAVs. This was required to allow the detection of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and roadside mines, and to detect and track moving vehicles.
Wing Loong UAVs have already seen combat service with Egypt’s Task Force 777, operating against ‘Wilayet Sinai’, the local arm of so-called Islamic State (IS).
Wing Loongs were used to search for smuggling tunnels used by IS between Gaza and Sinai and, in March 2017, the Egyptian Air Force used them to launch a number of airstrikes against militants in north Sinai, in the cities of El Arish, Rafah, and Sheikh Zuweid.
In November 2018, it was announced that Egypt would purchase 32 new Wing Loong 1D UAVs. The 1D variant has increased wingspan – up from 14 meters to 17.8 metres – with a higher maximum take-off weight, and with payload doubled to 400kg.

 

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Boeing to deliver AH-64E Apache Helicopters to three allied countries

Boeing and the U.S. Army have finalised orders from three nations to provide their armed forces with the new, more capable AH-64E Apache model.

Airbus Helicopters resilient in 2020

In 2020, Airbus Helicopters logged 289 gross orders in a challenging market heavily impacted by the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Summer sun is cold comfort to north African airlines

It was hoped that the summer period would give north African airlines the chance to recover from the early blows dealt them by the coronavirus pandemic. However, as Vincent Chappard and Anuradha Deenapanray report, the results were not

46% of Middle East luxury travellers plan to holiday abroad in 2021

The latest data analysis produced by YouGov for Reed Exhibitions, the organiser of Arabian Travel Market (ATM), has revealed that 46% of luxury travellers in the Middle East, are planning to travel internationally at some stage during

Vertis Aviation adds Legacy 600 to its fleet

Switzerland-based bespoke charter specialist, Vertis Aviation has added an Embraer Legacy 600 to its fleet which it will exclusively market for charter as part of the Vertis Charter Management Programme.

Qatar Airways to trial IATA Travel Pass COVID-19 ‘Digital Passport’ Mobile App

Qatar Airways joins Emirates Airlines and Etihad Airways to trial the IATA Travel Pass ‘Digital Passport’ mobile app.

AMAC Aerospace SK
See us at
IDEX 2021 BT26221Aviation Africa 2021 BTNNAviation MENA 2021World Defence Show 2022