The Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Khalifa Belqasim Haftar have down two of their own Chinese-built Wing Loong II combat drones supplied to them by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“It seems the LNA shot down another of their Wing Loong II UAVs, the second in two days,” Rob Lee, a military expert, tweeted on May 24.
A day earlier, Lee said Haftar’s forces shot down two Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 drones used by the Government of National Accord (GNA), as well as a Wing Loong II.
Meanwhile, GNA has claimed to have destroyed a number of Haftar’s Pantsir air defense systems and aircraft, including the Wing Loong.
The UAE supplied the Chinese drones and BA-7 air-to-surface missiles to Haftar’s forces sometime after 2011. The BA-7 is ballistically paired to fly with the Wing Loong.
Abu Dhabi has also reportedly bought CH-4 drones from China, considered similar to US’ MQ-9 Reaper, to arm the Haftar Armed Forces (HAF).
A report by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) states: “Analysis of the capabilities of each UCAV system shows that HAF currently has a significant tactical advantage.”
Chinese Wing Loong II can deliver over eight times the weight of explosive ordnance against ground targets than the GNA-AF Bayraktar TB2. The CUAV is operated using a satellite data link covering all of Libya, and provides HAF with a full offensive capability to achieve local air superiority.