China has a new combat drone model it is ready to place in the market to boost its position as the industry's largest exporter.
The new model, the TYW-1, is an unmanned system for surveillance and combat. It will make its maiden flight in September and be placed on the market next year, according to Wang Jianping, Beihang Unmanned Aircraft System Technology's deputy GM and chief designer. The model is based on the BZK-005, which is used by China's People's Liberation Army.
Wang said that they are targeting the markets of neighboring nations, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
He added that it could also be used to patrol China's "territorial waters," hinting on its deployment in the East and the South China Seas.
Chinese military drones, which have been deployed in different combat zones, mainly in the Middle East, are in high demand.
Meanwhile, China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) is developing a fast-attack and long-range stealth military drone that evades radar and anti-aircraft weapons, as well as a near-space drone. It also produces the high-speed, cruise missile-like WJ series drones.
China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation manufactures the CH-4, while Chengdu Aircraft Design and Research Institute developed the Wing Loong.
China has sold the CH-4 to more than 10 countries and the drone had been used in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. On the other hand, the Wing Loong has been deployed in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The CH-5 drone has been revealed last year, while the Wing Loong II just completed its maiden flight in February. Both drones are expected to be in the export market soon.
While Chinese companies claim that their drones are on par with their American counterparts, the U.S. remains to be an undisputed leader in this field.