NEW YORK: China is working on a Supersonic drone named as ‘Dark Sword’. The Dark Sword – known in Chinese as “Anjian” -made its debut at the Zhuhai Airshow in southern China’s Guangdong province. Experts have the opinion that China’s drone named as Dark Sword is under secret development. It was introduced in 2006 at an air show, but has since disappeared from public view.
The model was subsequently exhibited at the Paris Air Show – but was then never heard of again.
Some claim the project has already been scrapped due to insufficient funding or other reasons, while others believe the development of the drone is now being kept secret as it is undergoing further research and testing.
Chinese aviation expert Fu Qianshao said that while he does not know the status of the Dark Sword project, the drone could become the world’s first supersonic UAV if it proves a success.
He said he would not be surprised if the project is still ongoing in secret as a lack of transparency is nothing new for the aviation industry and is an approach commonly taken by the Americans.
The craft has ‘less emphasis on stealth in comparison to other 601-S UAVs, but instead, more emphasis is on maneuverability,’ according to reports.
However, the developers have stated that the primary focus of Dark Sword is to develop it into a hypersonic UAV, in order to fulfill the requirement of a low-observable, high maneuverability, hypersonic UAV to support tests conducted for Chinese air defense and air-to-air weaponry. The drone will be pitted against BAE system’s Taranis in the supersonic race.
Earlier this year Britain’s next generation military drone has ‘surpassed all expectations’ in its first test flight.
Taranis, which is named after the Celtic god of thunder, is designed to fly faster than the speed of sound and evade enemy radar with its single-wing stealth design.