Wing Loong II is a combat drone developed in People Republic of China. A drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle. It is a flying robot that can fly based on pre-loaded software or may be driven through remote controls. Wing Loong can be fitted with air-to-surface weapons, variety of sensors or radars weighing up to 200 kilograms. Wing Loong comes under the category medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
The combat drone Wing Loong is developed by the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group. Aviation Industry Corp of China, a state owned organization of the People's Republic of China owns the group. The development process was controlled by Lei Qiang, a fighter jet pilot with People’s Liberation Army Force. The main objective of Wing long is combat purposes. But it can be employed for civil assignments such as disaster monitoring, weather-related assessments, and environmental initiatives too.
People’s Liberation Army Air Force used the Wing Loong UAV for the first time in 2008. Wing Loong II, is the upgraded version of Wing Loong. This version was displayed first at the Beijing Aviation Expo held in September 2015. The drone is propelled by a turboprop engine. It has an operational radius of around 1500 km. An optimized aerodynamic design differentiates the latest version from the initial one. The maiden flight reportedly took place on 27 February 2017. However, it made headlines on 2 March 2017, when reports came out that Wing Loong II received the largest ever contract for a Chinese made combat drone.
With the successful introduction of .Wing Loong II, China now possess an unmanned combat drone that can compete with the Reaper drones being employed by the US.