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Egypt has been expanding its UAV fleet. Cairo signed a contract with the Chinese aircraft manufacturer Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group for the supply of 32 upgraded reconnaissance and shock UAVs Pterodactyl-1D in addition to the UAV Pterodactyl-1 acquired in 2016, according to Chinese media.
The Pterodactyl I, also known as Wing Loong, is a Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), developed by the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group in China. Intended for use as a surveillance and aerial reconnaissance platform, the Pterodactyl I is capable of being fitted with air-to-surface weapons for use in an unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) role.
Based on official marketing material released by CADI, the Pterodactyl can carry the BA-7 air-to-ground missile, YZ-212 laser-guided bomb, YZ-102A anti-personnel bomb and 50-kilogram LS-6 miniature guided bomb, reports armyrecognition.com.
The upgraded unmanned reconnaissance drone Pterodactyl-1D differs from the base model by an increased wingspan from 14 meters to 17.5 meters, its payload is increased from 100 kg to 400 kg.
It is equipped with a digital radar with synthesized antenna aperture which allows to get radar images of the earth’s surface and objects on it, regardless of the meteorological conditions and the level of natural light of the terrain. The information is supplied with detail comparable to aerial photographs, practically sky ceiling increased to 7000 meters. The range of used ammunition was expanded by increasing the points of suspension on the wings.
A first imagery of a Chinese-made AVIC Wing Loong UAVs was published on 14 October as part of a video to mark the Egyptian Air Force’s 45th anniversary. The footage showed a single Wing Loong taking off from a desert airbase with one munition under each wing. The weapons appeared to be Blue Arrow 7 (BA-7) laser-guided missiles, according to janes.com.