A Chinese website on Monday provided the first picture of the country’s homegrown unmanned aerial vehicle, called “Xianglong.” Although a small model appeared at the 2006 China Air Show before completion, it is the first time the unmanned aircraft itself has been seen.
Where the photo was taken is not known.
Similar to the U.S. Global Hawk in overall appearance, the reconnaissance drone is 14.3 m long and 24.9 m wide, but its tail is horizontal while the Global Hawk’s is V-shaped.
It is reportedly designed to conduct operations 18-20 km above the ground at a speed of 750 km/h. Less capable than its U.S. counterpart, which can identify 30-cm objects on the ground from 20 km above, it still is expected to be capable of keeping an eye on the entire Korean Peninsula in real time.