Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Hongdu Aircraft Industry Group and Shenyang Aircraft Corporation
Parent System: Lijian
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2020
Maiden Flight: 2016
Total Production: ?
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Description: The People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Lijian, 'Sharp Sword' in English, is an unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) following a flying wing design similar to the US X-47B, French Neuron and Russian Skat combat drones. This tailless aircraft is powered by a single engine and enjoys a stealth design that will allow operating with some degree of impunity. It was developed jointly between Shenyang Aviation Corporation and Hongdu Aviation Industry Group beginning in the early 2010s to serve as long-range attack drone. Besides, the aircraft is also being compared with the US Air Force RQ-170 Sentinel signaling that it may serve as a reconnaissance drone as well. The Lijian combat drone made its debut in 2016 and is expected to enter service in the 2018-2020 timeframe.
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