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China unveils stealth combat drone in development

Visitors look at the military vehicles during the 12th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, also known as Airshow China 2018, Tuesday Nov. 6, 2018, in Zhuhai city, south China's Guangdong province. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

ZHUHAI, China (AP) — A Chinese state-owned company says it is developing a stealth combat drone in the latest sign of the country’s growing aerospace prowess.

The CH-7 unmanned aerial vehicle also underscores China’s growing competitiveness in the expanding global market for drones.

The drone’s chief designer Shi Wen says it can “fly long hours, scout and strike the target when necessary.”

A model of the aircraft is being displayed at this week’s Zhuhai air show in southern China, a biannual event that showcases China’s latest advancements in military and civilian aviation.

With a wingspan of 22 meters (72 feet) and a length of 10 meters (33 feet), the swept-wing CH-7 is the size of a combat aircraft and its single engine can propel it at roughly the speed of a commercial jet airliner.

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