Dark Sword

An image was posted on the Chinese internet in early June, allegedly showing a mock-up of the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation Dark Sword unmanned combat air vehicle. This system, designed to be a highly manoeuvrable supersonic unmanned aerial combat or a deep strike platform, first made an appearance in late 2012. However, the concept silently disappeared in 2014, so the emergence of the picture was a surprise. The main features of the unique design are a lifting-body featuring canard foreplanes, swept wings and a wide tail section with two canted vertical tails. Powered by a single engine of unknown type, it features a sharp, forwardswept, chin-mounted, diverterless supersonic intake. The air vehicle appears to be finished in a stealthy dark coating. Andreas Rupprecht