The Egyptian Air Force possesses 108 Wing Loong drones
In recent years, China’s development in the field of military aircraft can be described as blossoming everywhere. Not only is the performance of manned fighters becoming more advanced and mature, but unmanned fighters are also developing rapidly step by step. Cheng Fei has performed well in this field. It has developed the Pterosaur 1 and Pterosaur 2 surveillance and unmanned aerial vehicles, and has won many export orders. Among them, the Egyptian Air Force has introduced 108 aircraft in two batches.
The latest sight of the Egyptian Air Force is the Pterosaur 1D reconnaissance all-in-one drone. The previous two UAVs Pterosaur 1 and Pterosaur 2 were essentially different in performance. Pterosaur 1 is a “small-headed” search and attack drone that can carry a variety of laser irradiation, ranging, detection, electronic countermeasures and other equipment. The Pterosaur 1 drone has complete functions, but as a small drone, its mounting capacity is not outstanding. The two wing points have only 200 kg of ammunition and limited firepower.
The Pterosaur 2 UAV, which is improved on the basis of Pterosaur 1, is a large surveillance drone. The maximum take-off weight of Pterosaur 2 reached 4.2 tons, the maximum load capacity was more than 500 kg, and there were 4 external attachment points on both sides of the wings. When using a 3-unit composite pylon, it can carry 12 blue sword 7 air-to-surface missiles. The cost of performance improvement is relatively high. The price of a single unit of Pterosaur 1 UAV is only 1 million US dollars, while the price of a single unit of Pterosaur 2 UAV is close to 5 million US dollars.
Cheng Fei also developed two UAVs with the same mission attributes but the performance difference is large, so that the two are combined to meet the needs of different customers. Before the Egyptian Air Force introduced 76 Pterosaur 1 drones, and its performance was very recognized, but in recent years, the Egyptian Air Force ’s actual combat missions have increased, and the problem of the small amount of Pterosaur 1 ammunition has been highlighted. In contrast, Pterosaur 2 is more in line with the current needs of the Egyptian Air Force.
Drones are a kind of consumables. The quantity cannot be too small. Although the price of Pterosaur 2 is much less than that of fighters, the cost of purchasing more is not a small amount. So is there a drone between Pterosaur 1 and Pterosaur 2? Of course, this is Pterosaur 1D. Pterosaur 1D mainly upgrades the range and ammunition capacity of Pterosaur 1, the stagnation time has been increased from 20 hours to 35 hours, and the ammunition capacity has also increased from 200 kg to about 400 kg.
The first appearance of Pterosaur 1D at the 2018 Zhuhai Air Show was seen by the participating Ethiopian Air Force personnel. From the performance point of view, the combat effectiveness of Pterosaur 1D has improved several times compared to Pterosaur 1, and it can carry up to 8 blue Sword 7 air-to-ground missiles, while the performance has been greatly improved, the price of the single aircraft has not increased much, only 1.8 million US dollars. At that air show, the Egyptian Air Force once again signed an order for 32 Pterosaur 1D, and purchased a total of 108 two times, becoming the largest customer of Pterosaur.
As we all know, China ’s fighter jets have not received more exports in recent years. The reason is that the third-generation aircraft market has already been saturated, and the fourth-generation aircraft has not yet entered the climax of equipment. At this time, it is inevitable that the fighter jets will export less. However, unmanned aerial vehicles such as Pterosaurs have sprung up in recent years. They have opened up the international market and obtained a large number of orders. The reason is very simple: our unmanned aerial vehicles are cheap, have excellent performance, and have excellent combat performance!
Which kind of military aircraft to export is the same, the key lies in having its own characteristics and advantages. At present, in the field of military aircraft export, the drone represented by the pterosaur series has obviously become our “fist” product! In the future, we will continue to deepen our efforts in this field and continue to improve the existing advantages. If we can take over the world drone market, why not export more manned fighter jets one by one?
Since the early 1980s, Egypt has been concerned with the design and manufacture of unmanned aircraft in multiple models, and has diverted numbers of target planes that use turbojet engines to reconnaissance planes.
Egypt has cooperation in the manufacture of unmanned aircraft with Poland, France, South Korea, Russia and, finally, China