The Wing Loong drone on display at an aviation expo in Zhuhai in southern China's Guangdong province on Nov. 14, 2013. (Photo/CNS)
Saudi Arabia has signed an agreement to purchase China's Wing Loong medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle, otherwise known as the Pterodactyl I, reports Huanqiu, the website of China's nationalistic tabloid Global Times.
Citing Russian military news, the Global Times said Saudi crown prince Salman sealed the deal with People's Liberation Army general Wang Guanzhong during a visit to China in mid-April, making Saudi Arabia the first Arab country to acquire the drone.
It is not clear how many units were ordered, though the Chinese drones are said to be designed along the lines of the MQ-1 Predator of the United States, with surveillance capabilities and the ability to carry two matched air-to-surface missiles.
The Wing Loong was developed by the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group. According to the statement released by the company last year, the drone has already been sold to four foreign countries, including an unnamed county in Central Asia, with a series of negotiations still ongoing with other potential clients.
Wang Guanzhong 王冠中
Lin Jianhua is the president of Zhejiang University, an expert in chemistry and education. Born in 1955, Lin is a native of Gaomi in Shandong province. He started his career as a teacher in Inner ...