The META threads we have been starting and supporting on ATS' Aircraft Projects forum seem to be going well. The intent is to place information in
an easily findable location for people to hunt down rather than to crawl through all the different threads that have been historically posted for each
news item on each project. This thread is dedicated to the advanced stealthy UAVs that China has been working on.
China has been working on multiple projects of stealthy UAVs. Some are large. Some are small. However, the flow of information is low enough all of
the different stealthy UAVs ought to be placed in one thread rather than one per project. The first UAV to kick off the thread is the Tiang Ying: the
The picture is of disputed repute, but it gives a good enough picture of what the Tian Ying looks like to give folks a reference point.
The Tian Ying is a flying wing aircraft that has been going through multiple iterations in its development. The very first Tian Ying was a seemingly
direct copy of the Mikoyan Skat UAV. The Russians started their own flying wing UAV and then seemingly abandoned the original for the newer cranked
kite Hunter-B. They may have exported the Skat to the Chinese thinking they would at least get back what they got into the project. There is also the
possibility the Chinese did NOT buy the Skat and there as just parallel evolution. Neither the Russians nor the Chinese are stating whether or not
the Skat was exported. The Chinese have long since run ahead of the original Skat and produced the newest version of the Tiang Ying.
The newest version is vastly upgraded from the Skat. It was shown off at the Zhuhai airshow and folks were allowed fairly close inspection:
One ofthe bits that came out of that was the Tian Ying appears to have received upgrades to the landing gear consistent with being a carrier based
aircraft. The Chinese have confirmed the intent is to have the Tian Ying fill the same role as the mostly cancelled US Navy UCLASS UAV, stealthy
strike with ISR.
The Tian Ying, in its current form, was recently publicly acknowledged as having had its first flight:
The Chinese have also stated the Tian Ying will operate not unlike the American Loyal Wingman program:
This will allow fighter pilots the capability to communicate with and control the UAV. The US has been working on the capability via the Loyal
Wingman and Have Raider projects. The latest version the US can supposedly control a swarm of UAVs easily from a fighter, but tbh, this is mostly
software so its not something the US can maintain a huge lead in.
China hating comments should be saved. The laws of physics don't care what flag you fly and so long as you have the knowledge, you can figure out
the rest: the US has been training Chinese scientists for decades, so the base knowledge is there. Almost 30 years of neglect of the US military tech
is catching up to us, so save the "we're 30 years ahead!" We. Are. Not.