China’s Indigenous UAV ‘Skyhawk’ Maiden Flight Unveiled

In November 2017, after nearly 4 years of development, the indigenous unmanned reconnaissance aircraft ‘Skyhawk’ successfully completed its maiden flight. Today (27th), CCTV released the first footage of the ‘Skyhawk’s’ maiden flight.

It is reported that the ‘Skyhawk’ unmanned reconnaissance aircraft was developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation’s Third Academy over a period of 4 years. It is capable of long-endurance cruising, high stealth, aerial reconnaissance, as well as fully autonomous takeoff and landing. It is primarily used for conducting extensive close-in or penetrating tactical reconnaissance missions in high-threat battlefield environments, providing comprehensive intelligence support for command decision-making and firepower strikes.

Furthermore, the ‘Skyhawk’s’ large payload capacity allows it to simultaneously carry electro-optical reconnaissance equipment, radar reconnaissance equipment, electronic reconnaissance equipment, and electronic countermeasures equipment, enabling multi-modal reconnaissance and significantly enhancing reconnaissance capabilities. If used as an integrated reconnaissance/strike UAV, it can also carry larger weapons, increasing its ability to inflict damage on targets. CCTV has released the successful maiden flight video of the domestically produced unmanned reconnaissance aircraft ‘Skyhawk’ for the first time.

Chief Designer Ma Hongzhong recalled the maiden flight day in November 2017, expressing excitement, “The feeling at that time cannot be expressed in words, some people cried. I went to the front of the aircraft and kissed it hard!” Ma Hongzhong said that at the time, it felt like overcoming a technical challenge, “like going to battle, capturing a hill, and then aiming at the next target and continuing to advance, moving on to new challenges.”

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