Pakistan will reportedly buy 48 Chinese armed drones in what is being termed as the ‘largest such arms deal of its kind’, Chinese state-run Global Times reported.
Wing Loong II, manufactured by the Chengdu Aircraft Industrial (Group) Company, is a high-end multi-role reconnaissance and strike unmanned aircraft system. It can carry around 480kgs of munitions and has an endurance of 20 hours.
The addition of the drone system will greatly enhance the offensive drone capability of Pakistan Air Force (PAF). If the United States halts the delivery of Predator drones to India following the S-400 deal, the country will enjoy a decisive advantage over its eastern neighbour in unmanned weapon systems.
It was also announced that in the future, the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Kamra and the Aviation Industry Corporation of China’s Chengdu Aircraft Industrial (Group) Company will jointly manufacture the drones.
Wing Loong II made its maiden flight in February last year, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
The largest overseas order for Wing Loong IIs was obtained even before its maiden flight, Xinhua reported. The report did not, however, specify the buyer.
The current deal of 48 Wing Loong IIs, if confirmed, would be China’s largest export deal for drones to date, according to a Chinese military expert Song Zhongping.
Chengdu Aircraft Industrial Group did not confirm the deal.
This story originally appeared in the Global Times