China began to use UAVs in the 1980s, initially mainly as targets and jamming decoys for air defense systems. In the late 1980s, China purchased a batch of “Pioneer” UAVs from Israel for artillery positioning and school shooting reconnaissance. In addition, China has also used the original high-altitude and high-speed target drone to try to improve it into a reconnaissance drone. After seeing the actual combat application and performance of UAVs in the second Gulf War, Afghanistan and other wars, China feels the need to develop a large-scale high-altitude long-endurance UAV system.
The latest report from Jane’s Defence Weekly suggests that China is striving to acquire the kind of capabilities that the “Global Hawk” drone provides the US armed forces, and the PLA will soon accept the production version of the Xianglong drone. This delivery.
The biggest feature of the Xianglong UAV is that it adopts a rare even-wing layout, which is a bold breakthrough in the history of aircraft design in my country. This aircraft has two pairs of wings, the front wing and the rear wing, and the front and rear wings are connected to form a diamond-shaped frame. The front wing root is connected to the forward fuselage, swept back and carries winglets; the rear wing root is connected to the upper end of the vertical tail, swept forward and has a dihedral angle; the rear wing tip is at 70% of the front wing span. The front wings are joined together at 90 degrees. Compared with the conventional aircraft, the even-wing aircraft has some advantages such as strong structure, strong anti-crash ability, good anti-flutter ability, low flight resistance and long range.
The Xianglong UAV is defined as a high-altitude and high-speed unmanned reconnaissance aircraft. It is designed by the First Airlines Chengdu Institute and the First Airlines Guihang Group. It does not blindly demand high performance indicators. Domestic practical conditions and user needs are the main factors.
From the data point of view, the range of the Xianglong UAV can reach 7,500 kilometers, and the cruising altitude can reach 18,000 meters, which is slightly inferior to the “Global Hawk” high-altitude unmanned reconnaissance aircraft of the United States. It can be used for patrol and reconnaissance in peacetime, target reconnaissance and surveillance in low-intensity warfare, security alerting, communication relay, Electronic reconnaissance, etc. of one’s own logistics supply line in medium-to-high-intensity confrontation; it provides the PLA with a surveillance system. , reconnaissance and other intelligence gathering operations such as signals intelligence operations long-endurance platform, significantly enhance the PLA’s 24-hour rapid response capabilities.
In the future, the Xianglong UAV can conduct reconnaissance and surveillance on the vast Pacific coast and Asia, filling the loopholes in China’s Dongfeng 21-D anti-ship ballistic missile guidance system, so that the US aircraft carrier has nowhere to hide. In order to keep American aircraft carriers and fighter jets thousands of miles away from mainland China in times of crisis.