Gongji-11 (GJ-11) Sharp Sword / Lijian
The Gongji-11 (GJ-11) stealth attack drone, capable of attacking strategic targets without being detected, was showcased at the 01 October 2019 National Day parade, indicating it is in active Chinese military service. A grand military parade was held in Beijing on 01 October 2019 to mark the People's Republic of China's 70th founding anniversary. Boasting a flying wing aerodynamic design similar to the US B-2 strategic bomber, the GJ-11 was displayed at the parade in Beijing for the first time. All weapons on display at the parade are in active service, said Major General Tan Min, Executive Deputy Director of the Military Parade Joint Command Office, at a press conference last week prior to the parade.
The drone is believed to have strong stealth capability, enabling it to sneak deep into enemy territory and launch strikes with weapons hidden in its weapons bay on key hostile targets, military analysts said. Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military analyst, told the Global Times that China has mastered technologies used on the drone. Judging from the drone's aerodynamic design, Wei said it is likely to have outstanding stealth capabilities and flying qualities. Military observers suggested that the GJ-11 is the final version of the Lijian, or Sharp Sword, stealth drone that made its first test flight in 2013 due to similarities. Russia is also developing the S-70 Okhotnik, a similar flying wing stealth attack drone, while the US has made the likes of X-47B stealth drones.
Lijian or Sharp Sword, which might become China's first unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV), was expected to enter service with the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) as early as 2020. The low-observable, tailless flying wing, which looks remarkably similar to the U.S. Navy MQ-25 Stingray UAV developed years ahead of it, began flying in 2016. Chinese media reports the lone Sharp Sword prototype (001) is doing well.
PLAAF initially envisions reconnaissance and aerial tanker missions for Sharp Sword in heavily defended areas. The UAV will then be configured for combat operations to attack heavily-defended, high-value U.S. targets with air-to-surface missiles and smart bombs.More advanced versions of Sharp Sword might even take-off and land autonomously from Chinese aircraft carriers. Others are planned as robotic wingmen to manned jet fighters.
Sharp Sword can carry a weapons payload of 2,000 kg (4,400 lbs. or two tons) in its two internal bomb bays. arp Sword is powered by a non-afterburning WS-13 turbofan engine. It has a length of about 10 meters and a wingspan of about 14 meters.
Sharp Sword is one of the seven iterations of the AVIC 601-S is a series of Chinese low-observable flying wing UAVs jointly developed by Shenyang Aircraft Design Institute (SYADI) of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) and Shenyang Aerospace University (SAU). The name 601-S derives from the names of the developers: SYADI, which is also widely known as the 601st Institute, hence 601. The letter S stands for Shenyang Aerospace University.
A total of seven different models of the AVIC 601-S have been identified as of 2013, one of the most advanced of which is Sharp Sword. Sharp Sword was jointly developed by SYADI, SAU and Hongdu Aviation Industry Group (HAIG). It's one of the two models of the AVIC 601-S that advanced beyond a proof of concept design by evolving into a larger aircraft. The other model is Dark Sword, which emphasizes speed more than stealth.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|