China Central Television (CCTV) broadcast an image from a distance of what was identified as the “Sky Hawk,” high-altitude, long-range and high-speed drone powered by a turbofan engine, a first for China’s impressive range of military unmanned vehicles.
Developed by the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC), the Sky Hawk conducted a test flight at an undisclosed location in China, the CCTV report said. The video showed the drone taking off and landing, marking the first time that the aircraft has been publicly seen in flight, various state-owned media reported.
Featuring a "flying wing" aerodynamic design, the Sky Hawk is capable of conducting reconnaissance and patrol missions in hostile environments, the CCTV reported.
Another Chinese stealth drone with a "flying wing" design, the CH-7, also developed by ASIC, was on display at the air show. Its 22-meter wingspan makes it significantly larger than the Sky Hawk, providing another choice for domestic and international users.
Addition of the two jet-powered, stealth drones will significantly add to China’s arsenal of attack and reconnaissance drones. Earlier reports said that the CH-7 is intended for use abroad aircraft carriers in both attack and reconnaissance roles.