China to Replace the US as World No. 1 Weapon Exporter


China’s Yilong 2 drone equivalent to US MQ-9 Reaper

China has received lots of orders for its Yilong-2 drones though it has just conducted a successful maiden test flight. That is because China has sold quite a few drones that have proved quite satisfactory in wars.

Yilong-2 is 11 meters long with a wingspan of 20.5 meters. Its maximum service ceiling is 9,000 meters, speed, 370 km/hour, takeoff weight, 4,200 kg, external weapon load, 480 kg and endurance, 20 hours. It can carry 12 laser-guided missiles or GPS-guided bombs with great fire power.

According to its chief designer Li Yidong, Yilong-2 is similar in functions and performance to US MQ-9 Reaper. However, its average price is only $1 million while that of MQ-9 is $30 million. In spite of the forbidding high price of MQ-9, the US has stringent restriction to its export.

No wonder, China has received the largest weapon export order for the drone.

The drone is a milestone of China’s weapon export: It proves that due to Chinese weapons’ fine quality, low prices and less restriction, China will replace the US as world largest weapon exporter.

Source: Global Times “Yilong-2 will soon be delivered to its first user abroad: Orders received for it set record” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)

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