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Hongdu Lijian (Sharp Sword)

China (2018)
Picture of Hongdu Lijian (Sharp Sword) Stealth Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV)
Picture of Hongdu Lijian (Sharp Sword) Stealth Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV)

The Hongdu Lijian UCAV was photographed undertaking its maiden flight in November of 2013.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Hongdu Lijian (Sharp Sword) Stealth Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV).  Entry last updated on 11/11/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

In tune with other leading military powers of the world, China has delved into the realm of the Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV), a remotely-piloted aircraft with weapons delivery capability, through its unveiling of the Hongdu Lijian ("Sharp Sword"). The aircraft represents China's first official foray into a jet-powered, stealth-minded Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and is believed to serve the role of technology demonstrator for a possible future combat system. The design was photographed during a taxiing run in May of 2013, officially marking its appearance in the Chinese aircraft inventory. Externally, the vehicle takes on the form of the competing (and in-development) Northrop Grumman X-47B complete with frontal air intake and tailless profile.

The Lijian exited a period of development that spanned some three years and involved both Hongdu and Shenyang aircraft makers. The end-result was a flying wing with a turbofan buried within the bulbous fuselage. The overhead profile of the aircraft is reminiscent of the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit stealth bomber and lacks any vertical fins of any kind. It is presumed that there lies an internal weapons bay for munitions. The undercarriage is fully-retractable and consists of two main single-wheeled legs and a nose leg.

As it stands, the Lijian is thought to be powered by the same Shenyang WP7 series engine as featured on the J-7 fighter series. Estimated specifications include an operational range out to 80 miles with a payload-carrying capability not exceeding 4,000lbs. The structure includes a wingspan of some 46 feet.

Since this aircraft system remains in development as of January 2014, this article will be updated as additional information becomes apparent.

Any available statistics for the Hongdu Lijian (Sharp Sword) Stealth Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

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Aviation Era
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Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
1
1


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


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Origin: China
Year: 2018
Type: Stealth Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV)
Manufacturer(s): Hongdu Aircraft Industries Corporation (HAIC) / Shenyang - China
Production: 1
Global Operators:
China (probable)
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Hongdu Lijian (Sharp Sword) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
0


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
45.93 ft


Meters
14 m

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
(Assumed) 1 x Shenyang WP7 turbofan engine developing 10,000lb of thrust (estimated).
Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft guided bomb munition
Armament - Hardpoints (0):

Unknown at this time. Presumed to be precision-guided munitions held internally. Payload assumed no more than 4,500lbs.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• Lijian - Base Series Name