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AVIC Cloud Shadow

China (2018)
Picture of AVIC Cloud Shadow High-Altitude, Long-Endurance (HALE) Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV)

The AVIC Cloud Shadow UCAV has been designed by Chinese aero-industry for the export market.


Detailing the development and operational history of the AVIC Cloud Shadow High-Altitude, Long-Endurance (HALE) Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV).  Entry last updated on 3/20/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) market continues to grow and, for larger aero-industries like that of China, this means untapped potential in the lucrative export market. As a result, the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) has unveiled the "Cloud Shadow" UAV/UCAV during the 11th Zhuhai Air Show in November of 2016. The aircraft is a development of Chengdu Aerospace Corporation (CAC) which falls under the AVIC parent label.

The product on display showcases a very sleek, stealth-like appearance akin to the General Atomics Avenger Unmanned Air Combat Vehicle (UCAV) offering. The bulbous nose assembly is well-streamlined and tapers to the rear to which an air scoop is set over the dorsal line. The scoop is straddled by outward-canted vertical fins. The wing mainplanes are swept back and featured along midships of the fuselage. The undercarriage is wheeled and completely retractable to preserve aerodynamic efficiency.

As its core, the Cloud Shadow represents a Chinese attempt at a budget-friendly High-Altitude, Long Endurance (HALE) unmanned aircraft that is weapons capable. Two distinct versions have been mentioned - the standard unarmed reconnaissance model and an armed reconnaissance model. Weapons are held externally along four underwing hardpoints (two to a wing). Munitions supported will include a variety of Chinese precision weapons including both missiles and drop bombs. The listed mission payload is 880 lb.
Performance specifications include a maximum speed of 385 miles per hour, a service ceiling of at least 46,000 feet and a Line-of-Sight (LoS) link range out to 180 miles. The aircraft's mission endurance window is set for six hours. The jet engine is most likely the WJ-600 series or similar.

There are three planned production forms for the Cloud Shadow UAV family. The Cloud Shadow CS-1 is the base imagery reconnaissance model and this is to be followed by the CS-2 which fulfills the electronic reconnaissance role. The CS-3 is set to be a fully-armed reconnaissance strike model. All will carry the WP-11C series turbojet engine for propulsion.

November 2017 - A mock-up of the Cloud Shadow UAV was put on display during the Dubai Air Show.






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.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (385mph).

    Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the AVIC Cloud Shadow's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
10
10


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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


Altitude Visualization
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Origin: China
Year: 2018
Type: High-Altitude, Long-Endurance (HALE) Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV)
Manufacturer(s): Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) - China
Production: 10
Status: In-Development
Global Operators:
China (possible)
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
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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 AVIC Cloud Shadow model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
0


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
5,071 lb


Kilograms
2,300 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
7,055 lb


Kilograms
3,200 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
Estimated: 1 x WP-11C turbojet engine of unknown rating / output.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
385 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
620 kph


Knots
335 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
180 mi


Kilometers
290 km


Nautical Miles
157 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
49,213 ft


Meters
15,000 m


Miles
9.32 mi

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Graphical image of an aircraft guided bomb munition
Armament - Hardpoints (4):

OPTIONAL:
Air-to-surface, precision-guided missiles and drop bombs including Blue Arrow-7, YJ-9E and AG-300M series.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• Cloud Shadow - Base Series Name
• Cloud Shadow CS-1 - Imagery reconnaissance model
• Cloud Shadow CS-2 - Electronic reconnaissance model
• Cloud Shadow CS-3 - Reconnaissance strike model