GJ-11 Sharp Sword
Mock-up of GJ-11 displayed at Airshow China in 2021
Role Unmanned combat aerial vehicle
National origin People's Republic of China
Manufacturer Hongdu Aviation Industry Group
Designer Shenyang Aircraft Design Institute
Hongdu Aviation Industry Group
First flight 2013
Status In testing and evaluation[1]

Serial production planned for 2022[2]

Primary user People's Liberation Army Air Force

The Hongdu GJ-11 Sharp Sword (Chinese: 攻击-11 利剑; pinyin: gongji-11 lì jiàn) is an unmanned combat aerial vehicle developed in the People's Republic of China for the People's Liberation Army. It was designed by Shenyang Aircraft Design Institute and Hongdu Aviation Industry Group (HAIG),[3] with the latter being the manufacturer.[4] The GJ-11 may also perform aerial reconnaissance.[3][5]

GJ-11 at Airshow China Zhuhai 2021

Design

The GJ-11 is a tailless flying wing[3] with two internal weapons bays.[6][3] Stealth features include the shaping of the rear airframe around the engine exhaust[5] and serrated weapon bay doors.[6] The aircraft is powered by a single turbofan engine of an unknown type, and the overall wingspan is 14 meters.[7]

Development

Early versions were less stealthy with an exposed engine nozzle.[8]

Images of the aircraft's first flight appeared on the internet in November 2013.[4]

In October 2021, Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC) showcased the GJ-11 at Airshow China. The drone is reportedly capable of taking off autonomously from Type 075 amphibious assault ships. The stealthy drone could deploy swarming air-launched decoys or electronic warfare systems, in addition to launching precision-guided munitions.[9][10]

In October 2022, Chinese media showcased the computer-generated concepts of three GJ-11 being controlled by a two-seat variant of the Chengdu J-20 fighter jet, akin to the Loyal Wingman program of the United States.[11]

Specifications

Chinese UAV Sharp Sword (approximate appearance)

General characteristics

Performance Armament

References

  1. ^ Thompson, Drew (7 June 2021). Asia-Pacific Regional Security Assessment 2021. Routledge. p. 242. ISBN 978-1-000-47449-7.
  2. ^ Thompson 2021, p. 244.
  3. ^ a b c d e Wood, Peter; Cliff, Roger (November 2020). Chinese Airborne C4ISR. United States Department of the Air Force China Aerospace Studies Institute. p. 21. ISBN 9798583085569.
  4. ^ a b Axe, David (21 November 2013). "Now China's Got a Stealthy Killer Drone". medium.com. war-is-boring. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  5. ^ a b Williams, Ian; Dahlgren, Masao (16 October 2019). "More Than Missiles: China Previews its New Way of War". Center for Strategic and International Studies. Retrieved 11 December 2022.
  6. ^ a b c d e f "歼20性能数据首次披露:最大飞行速度2马赫". Xinhua (in Chinese). 2021-09-28. Archived from the original on 2021-09-29. Retrieved 2021-09-29.
  7. ^ "GJ-11 UAV displayed on Chinese National Day". air recognition. 3 October 2022.
  8. ^ Trimble, Stephen (21 May 2013). "New tailless UAV design proclaims Chinese ambition". Flight International. Gale General OneFile. Retrieved 11 December 2022.
  9. ^ Trevithick, Joseph (11 October 2021). "Chinese Flying Wing Drones Launch Swarming Decoys At Enemy Warships In Industry Video". The Drive.
  10. ^ Paleja, Ameya (11 October 2021). "China Unveils Long-Range GJ-11 Drones That Can Launch Decoys At Enemy Warships". Interesting Engineering.
  11. ^ Meier, Ricardo (12 October 2022). "Chinese two-seat J-20 fighter jet controlling three GJ-11 stealth drones". Air Data News.