China has revealed a new stealth drone called “Sharp Sword” which is capable of carrying more than 4,000 pounds of bombs.
The unmanned combat aerial vehicle is the first non-NATO craft of its kind. It recently won second place in China’s National Science and Technology Advancement Prizes.
“Sharp Sword” could enter the service as early as 2019 for use in reconnaissance missions and later combat missions.
It was built by Aviation Industry Corporation of China with the help of the Hongdu Aviation Industry Group.
The aerial vehicle is equipped with two internal bomb bays and can carry a payload of roughly 4,400 pounds.
Little is known about “Sharp Sword” due to China’s secrecy surrounding their drone programs.
The 33-foot-long Sharp Sword craft with a wingspan of roughly 46 feet, uses a non-afterburning WS-13 turbofan engine with serpentine inlet to hide it from enemy radar.
The “Sharp Sword” first flew in November 2013 and was first spotted conducting flight testing last year.
The aerial vehicle is a response to the American X-47B, the British Taranis and the French Neuron.
This comes just a few months after China unveiled the CH-5 unmanned aerial vehicle. It is capable of flying for two straight days without refueling. It was revealed at an airshow last year along with China’s J-20 stealth fighter.