Feb. 28 (UPI) -- China's reconnaissance and strike unmanned aerial system, the Wing-Loong II, has conducted its maiden flight, the Xinhua news agency reported.
The aircraft, with a wingspan of 65.6 feet, flew Monday in western China for 31 minutes.
The aircraft was developed by Chengdu Aircraft Design and Research Institute, part of the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China.
The Wing-Loong II has a maximum flying altitude of more than 29,500 feet, a speed of about 211 miles per hour and a flight endurance of 20 hours.
"Its flight marks China's new generation reconnaissance and strike UAS, Li Yidong, chief designer of the Wing-Loong UAS series, told Xinhua. "Following the United States, China becomes another country capable of developing such new generation large reconnaissance and strike UAS.
"It can rapidly identify then strike against time-critical and fleeting targets. The capability is not possessed by previous unmanned aircraft, even manned aircraft.
"Taking a look at the UAS in same class around the world, the Wing-Loong II is equivalent to the U.S. MQ-9 Reaper, and ranks in the first level on the UAS list," he said.