Xianglong / Flying Dragon / WZ-7
The "Xianglong" [Flying Dragon / Soar Dragon] unmanned reconnaissance aircraft has a body design very similar to the United States, "Global Hawk" high-altitude long flight surveillance UAV. The fuselage tail is a dorsal fin equipped with composite engine compartment, the inlet shape is semi-oval. The upper part of the nose is also a huge streamlined blister-shaped.
High-altitude long flight UAV began to appear in the US in the 1990s, the initial development intended to replace the manned U-2 / TR-1 high - altitude reconnaissance aircraft. The United States began work on high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft from the 1950s, widely used in the Soviet Union, China and other hostile countries for strategic and tactical reconnaissance. In the Cuban missile crisis , U-2 was high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft made illustrious military exploits; in Soviet reconnaissance, it also successfully found the number of Mia-4 strategic bombers, playing a decisive role in giving the US strategic attitude and military development direction. However, with increasing surface to air missiles and high-altitude high-speed fighter performance, low-altitude reconnaissance aircraft, the viability began to decline, especially flying a plane over the Soviet Union.
Subsequently, the emergence of reconnaissance satellites to a certain extent, replaced the status of the traditional high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft. However, during the 1990 Gulf War, the United States found that their large number of advanced satellites did not fully meet the reconnaissance needs, the traditional high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft not only has not been replaced, but more and more important - U-2 / TR-1 reconnaissance aircraft engagesd in a lot of activities over Iraq.
Xianglong UAV (English: Soar Dragon) is a China Aviation Industry Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation independent research and design of a large unmanned aerial vehicle. January 14, 2013, the US "Defense News" magazine official website published a article by Wendell Minnick which said that China's dragon (Soar Dragon) UAV once again appeared on this UAV to be great attention. The first appearance came June 28, 2011, when the Xianglong UAV prototype appeared on the runway. For the first time its mysterious face was exposed. The Xianglong high-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicles is a new generation of Chinese high-altitude long-endurance unmanned reconnaissance aircraft.
In order to meet the needs of the future combat of the army, to complete the usual and wartime intelligence reconnaissance mission in the surrounding areas, for the troops to accurately and timely understanding of the battlefield situation to provide a powerful means, China Aviation Organization Chengdu Institute of aircraft design, Guizhou Aviation Industry (Group) and other relevant units designed a "Xianglong" high-altitude high-speed unmanned reconnaissance aircraft concept program, including UAV flight platform, task load, ground system and other three parts.
Developed by the People's Republic of China Chengdu Institute of aircraft design research and development, the Guizhou Aviation Industry Group production of large high-altitude long flight (HALE) UAV can execute monitoring, investigation, evaluation, intelligence gathering and information relay and other functions. It is speculated that "Xianglong" UAVs can locate targets for anti-ship ballistic missiles and cruise missiles.
"Xianglong" UAV is built of a large number of composite materials, wing design using diamond-shaped layout, the body curve is smooth and smooth, are consistent with the principle of reducing the RCS reflection area. The aircraft's radar cross-sectional area is not large, presumably less than the typical fighter target, plus the use of composites. "Grand" UAV using less common with tip winglet the associated wing, and the triangular end vents facilitate infrared stealth.
International unparalleled unmanned aerial vehicles, Xianglong UAV performance and use and the United States Northrop Grumman developed the "Global Hawk" unmanned aerial vehicles and the Israeli Aerospace Industries Corporation developed the "Eitan" UAV And so similar, but the size, level and so different.
"Xianglong" UAV in 2006 shrank the form of the model to participate in the Sixth China International Aviation and Aerospace Expo. June 28, 2011, the UAV real machine for the first time exposure, then began its outdoor radar cross-section measurement and other ground tests. "Xianglong" UAV may be completed by the end of 2012 first flight.
The end of October 2016 a Western defense consulting firm released satellite photos that showed Xianglong after a major modification may have been ready to enter mass production.
Although China's "Xianglong" by its own technical performance constraints can not perform the global scale strategic reconnaissance mission, this new UAV can be a vast exposition of the Pacific coast and the Asian region for reconnaissance and surveillance. In addition, "Xianglong" has to fill China is being developed in the new anti-ship ballistic missile guidance system vulnerability potential. This anti-ship ballistic missile used to fight against enemy aircraft carrier battle group, known as the "aircraft carrier killer."
With an enormous detection capabilities and real-time monitoring capabilities for remote destination, China Will gain significant strategic and military superiority. Although it is not enough to make the implementation of the technical characteristics of global-scale reconnaissance missions, but it can greatly extend the monitoring capabilities of China and Asia Pacific region.
"Xianglong" can be used to monitor foreign aircraft carrier, to provide combat guidance to "Dongfeng-21D" anti-shipping ballistic missiles. Experts say the tactics are technically feasible, but it is difficult to do so in wartime. In fact, in peacetime, "Xianglong" an important role is indeed in the relevant sea search, discovery and long-term monitoring, including aircraft carriers, including large-scale water targets. This is the "Dongfeng-21D" to provide the basis for the instructions given.
The "Dongfeng-21D" attack mobile large-scale target is likely to need to relay guidance. Because in the course of its flight, the same goal of the implementation of maneuvering, because the missile flight distance is too far, if not coordinate correction, when it is set in accordance with the launch of the target coordinates into the atmosphere, I am afraid the target has been fled. So to monitor the target in real time, and send a correction order to the missile. "Xianglong" itself has real-time monitoring capabilities, theoretically the UAV can be installed after the relevant equipment to complete the command to send the missile mission.
In January 2018 on the international commercial photography satellite website, there were three newest EA-03 drones in China, which is the “Xianglong” strategic-level unmanned reconnaissance aircraft that readers are familiar with. The location was alleged to be the UAV test site in Guizhou, China, but this information was not confirmed. At the same time, there were two large-scale reconnaissance drones developed by China and with amazing layouts. This scene will make the world military aviation industry have to say a word, these two larger aircraft can be compared with the US "Global Hawk" drone. And all come from China's independent design.
The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force for the first time displayed the WZ-7 high-altitude reconnaissance drone at the Airshow China 2021, to be held in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province, from September 28 to October 3, 2021. As one of China's largest drones, the WZ-7 will be deployed in missions that require extended endurance like border reconnaissance and maritime patrol.
Domestically developed and produced by China, the WZ-7 is a high-altitude reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle designed to conduct missions including border reconnaissance and maritime patrol. Featuring a tandem-wing design and being large in size, the WZ-7 has a long endurance, which makes completing its intended missions possible.
The drone's official designation is now confirmed as the WZ-7, and the PLA Air Force is presenting it to the general public at the air show indicating that it has entered service with the PLA Air Force, the expert said, noting that it was previously known by its codename, the Soar Dragon.
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