Airshow China 2022: China displays Wing Loong-10 electronic warfare UAV entering service with PLA Air Force

China’s Wing Loong-10 UAV has already been tested for a while and is now speculatively entering service with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), Sakshi Tiwari reports in The Eurasian Times. Let us recall that China first displayed the Wing Loong-10 UAV at Nanchang Airshow 2020.

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Airshow China 2022 China displays Wing Loong 10 electronic warfare UAV entering service with PLA Air Force Wing Loong-10 UAV at Airshow China 2022 in Zhuhai (Picture source: screenshot of CCTV via Twitter account of David Wang)


On November 6, social media reported about the Wing Loong-10 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle of the Wing Loong family entering service with the PLAAF (PLA Air Force). According to military watchers tracking China’s military development, Sakshi Tiwari reports in The Eurasian Times, the UAV has entered service as a dedicated Electronic Warfare (EW) UAV with the official designation WZ-10 or WL-10, as David Wang tweeted on November 7, also exported as the Cloud Shadow combat drone. The new EW variant is based on the drone developed by the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group specifically for reconnaissance and precision strike missions. It is said to be similar to the civilian-purpose Cloud Shadow drone.

As per preliminary information, Sakshi Tiwari writes, the new drone is designed to locate electromagnetic signals between 100-300MHz at 200 kilometers. However the following figures cannot be checked, the UAV is claimed to have a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 3,200 kg, reach a maximum operational altitude of 12,500 meters with an endurance of over 8 hours, and flies at 520 km/h.

Echoed by Sakshi Tiwari in The Eurasian Times, Chinese military aviation expert Rick Joe said: “We don’t know much about it, except that it is a relatively lightweight high-altitude drone with average endurance. It is not that big; for example, it is far smaller than a Global Hawk or the WZ-7 UAV. It has some minor signature reduction features. It seems like it’s primarily an EW UAV, but whether that means active ECM or ELINT or something else, who knows.”

As per the limited information available about China’s primarily classified systems, the UAV is capable of long-range precision land/sea attacks and speedy and thorough intelligence gathering, Sakshi Tiwari reports in The Eurasian Times. The Wing Loong-10 is believed to be powered by a turbojet engine. An EW-capable Wing Loong-10 takes these capabilities a notch further.