China’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicle First Flight
China’s unmanned stealth aerial vehicle had it maiden flight on Thursday. The success of the flight only shows that the nation has once again narrowed air power disparity from western nations. Fans of china’s popular military website stated that the aerial vehicle Sharp Sword conducted its maiden flight at a test flight center in Southwest China and the test took around 20 minutes.
The site showed several picture of the aerial vehicle in flight which was forwarded to major news websites which highlighted the aerial vehicle while flying. The Sharp Sword aerial vehicle is developed by the Shenyang Aircraft Design Institute and manufactured by Hongdu Aviation Industry. Both companies belong to Aviation Industry Corp of China one of the nation’s leading aircraft manufacturer.
The drone is equivalent to the US Northrop Grumman X-47 and the Neuron which is a joint effort of different European companies. Since May photos of the unmanned aerial vehicle prototype began appearing on several military websites, with observers saying that the photos only prove that the aerial vehicle will soon have its maiden flight. After its test flight China became the fourth power in the world after United States, European Union and the United Kingdom that has the capability of placing a stealth drone.
The unmanned drone can be used for air to ground strikes or for reconnaissance and has a huge potential for aircraft carriers. With the size and technological capability of the Sharp Sword will make it a suitable choice for the Chinese navy if it plans to use a unmanned combat platform for their aircraft carrier.