Dark Sword
Role Stealth unmanned combat aerial vehicle
National origin People's Republic of China
Designer Aviation Industry Corporation of China Shenyang Aircraft Design Institute
Status In development
Developed from AVIC 601-S[1]

The AVIC Dark Sword (Chinese: 暗剑; pinyin: Àn Jiàn) is a type of stealth, supersonic unmanned combat aerial vehicle from the People's Republic of China. It is being developed by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China's Shenyang Aircraft Design Institute for the air superiority or deep strike roles.[2] Use as an autonomous wingman for manned aircraft may also be a goal.[3][4]


A conceptual model appeared in 2006 China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition[2] Early concepts featured a conical planform, static foreplane canards, a wide tail section with canted vertical stabilizers, swept wings, and a single-engine with forward-swept chin-mounted intake. A sub-scale demonstrator may have flown by mid-2018.[3]

An image of a full-scale mock-up or demonstrator emerged in mid-2018. It was at least 12 meters long and shared low-observability features with contemporary Chinese aircraft including a diverterless supersonic inlet.[2][3]

The drone could potentially be paired with Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter, specifically the twin-seat J-20S for aircraft teaming. Various "loyal wingman" prototypes, including the Dark Sword, were developed in China.[5][6]

See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

Related lists


  1. ^ "AVIC 601-S Dark Sword". Archived from the original on 2008-11-08. Retrieved 2008-11-06.
  2. ^ a b c Wong, Kelvin (2018-06-07). "Image emerges of China's stealthy Dark Sword UCAV". Jane's 360. Archived from the original on 2018-06-12.
  3. ^ a b c Rogoway, Tyler (2018-06-05). "Image Of China's Stealthy 'Dark Sword' Fighter-Like Combat Drone Emerges". The Drive.
  4. ^ Axe, David (2018-06-06). "How Soon Will China's Dark Sword Stealth Drone Be Airworthy?". The Daily Beast.
  5. ^ Huang, Kristin (2021-11-20). "China's military looks to J-20 jet-drone match-up for combat edge". South China Morning Post.
  6. ^ A. Tirpak, John (2021-10-28). "China's New Two-Seat J-20: Trainer or Manned-Unmanned Teaming Platform?". Air Force Magazine.