Speaking of military drones, since the late Cold War, Israel, one of the Middle Eastern military powers, has launched a number of products, some of which are quite successful, and many countries have introduced them. Recall that in the 90s of the last century, the PLA also imported Israeli "Harpy" anti-radiation suicide drones/patrol missiles, and also copied them to a considerable extent. Even some domestic private enterprises can learn from the aerodynamic shape layout of "Harpy" and launch some new models of suicide drones on their own. Of course, we are not satisfied with the introduction and imitation, but pay more attention to independent research and development. In the context of China now being a drone industry power on par with the United States, all kinds of domestic military drones are gaining the hearts of more and more buyers, and even greatly surpassing Israel, which once led the world in this field.
Domestic "Wing Loong-2" reconnaissance and combat integrated UAV
As the so-called "wine aroma is not afraid of the deep alley", as China's drone technology becomes more and more high-end, we have gained the hearts of one overseas buyer after another, including many countries in the Middle East, and even a scene of snatching customers from the hands of "teacher" Israel, Shuai Huamin, former director of Taiwan's defense department, disclosed such a thing. It is reported that after Saudi Arabia introduced China's "Wing Loong" reconnaissance and combat integrated drone, it had a high evaluation of the aircraft. Under the intentional matching of the United States, Saudi Arabia ordered a batch of Israeli "Heron" UAVs, and it was found in the test that the comprehensive performance of "Heron" was significantly inferior to "Wing Loong", and this Israeli product even crashed during test flights. As a result, Saudi Arabia decisively abandoned Israeli products and instead bought a batch of "Wing Loong-2" UAVs with better performance from China.
Israeli "Heron" reconnaissance drone
To be fair, from the perspective of product performance, although the Heron UAV, which appeared 30 years ago, has a high degree of technological maturity, proving that it is a relatively successful equipment, many of its basic parameters have appeared relatively backward today, and lack sufficient improvement and upgrade potential. From today's point of view, the Heron is just a medium-sized, low-end reconnaissance drone.
TB-2 UAV in Turkey
Especially in terms of bomb load, combat range and precision strike capability, the "Heron" is not to mention compared with the "Wing Loong" such a large long-range reconnaissance and combat integrated UAV, even in the face of the second-rate Turkish TB-2 UAV, it has no decent advantages. After the Saudi military has long been "spoiled" by the "Wing Loong" drone with good performance, it is naturally reluctant to buy a product that is not good.
The United States has been brokering Israel with Saudi Arabia
By the way, due to traditional contradictions in religion and ethnicity, the matter of "arms and trade cooperation between Israel and Saudi Arabia" is quite delicate, and it is almost certain that it came together under the mediation of the United States, after all, the US government has hoped that Israel and Saudi Arabia can achieve normal diplomatic relations for many years. That is to say, Saudi Arabia and Israel had a great sense of mutual distrust at the beginning, so it cannot be ruled out that Israel deliberately made some technical reservations and did not provide Saudi Arabia with the best performance; And Saudi Arabia simply does not have high expectations for Israeli equipment. After coming and going, it seems that the "pterosaur" is much superior to the "Heron".
Advanced Wing Loong-2 UAV
Of course, this matter also reflects the change in the performance of Chinese UAVs "from backward to leading" from another angle. It is no exaggeration to say that in the drone industry, China has basically entered a stage where it is on an equal footing with the United States, or even winning in some areas. The United States is strong in the accumulation of existing technologies, while China is strong in incremental technologies. In this game situation, it may take a while to divide the real winner and loser.