Thursday, September 1, 2016

Saudi Arabia buys high-tech China drones

ARAB NEWS | Thursday 1 September 2016

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has signed a contract with China for the purchase of an unspecified number of pterodactyl planes, also known as Wing Loong or medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned drones, according to a report in Al-Watan newspaper. The Chinese unmanned drones are modeled after MQ-1 Predator; they have surveillance capabilities and are able to carry two air-to-ground missiles. According to the Global Times, the Kingdom is the first Arab country to obtain such types of drones, which were developed by Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group. According to a press statement from the company last year, its drones are sold to four countries, including an unnamed country in Central Asia, while a series of negotiations are still going on with other potential clients. The pterodactyl flies more than 4,000 km in 20 hours, and has a total payload capacity of up to 200 kg. It is equipped with laser-guided sensors.