China will for the first time unveil its new unmanned aerial vehicle of the High-Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) type at the Zhuhai Airshow 2021.
Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) will publicly unveil the WZ-7 (BZK-007) high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) remotely piloted vehicle with a bizarre design.
The new joined-wing drone, also known as Guizhou Soar Dragon, was developed for long-endurance missions at high altitudes, the aircraft features an unusual tandem, joined wing platform.
According to open sources, the heavy Soar Dragon drone is built of a large number of composite materials. The aircraft’s radar cross-sectional area is not large, presumably less than the typical fighter target, plus the use of composites.
Large by the standards of UAVs, the Soar Dragon’s joined wing allows for a more rigid, less flexible wing than other configurations, with benefits said to include an increased lift-to-drag ratio and less complex flight controls than a HALE UAV with a conventional wing would requiret equipment to complete the command to send the missile mission.
The operational WZ-7 is likely to be used for maritime surveillance of foreign bases and warships, as part of the anti-access/area denial kill chain. Its long flight time and large sensor payload, in particular, could allow it to follow aircraft carriers, while vacuuming up a wealth of data, for extended periods of time.