The TYW-1, developed by Beihang University in Beijing, one of China 's top institutes for science and technology, is an unmanned aircraft for reconnaissance and combat based on the BZK-005 high-altitude, long-range reconnaissance drone, which the university also developed, according to official sources here on Friday.
The BZK-005 is widely used by the People's Liberation Army and has performed many operations.
The drone is to make its maiden flight in September and will be placed on the international market in 2018, according to Wang Jianping, deputy general manager and chief designer at Beihang Unmanned Aircraft System Technology.
The firm was set up by Beihang University, formerly known as Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, to develop and market drones.
"We aim to tap the markets in neighboring nations, as well as in Southeast Asia and the Middle East," Wang said in an exclusive interview.
This would be the first time a Chinese university sells large unmanned combat aircraft on the international market.
Northwestern Poly Technical University in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, has sold small, unarmed military drones to foreign buyers.
CH drones have been sold to military users in more than 10 countries, while the Wing Loong II, which made its maiden flight in late February, has received the largest contract ever for a Chinese drone made for export.
"Taking advantage of the good design of the BZK-005, the TYW-1 will be able to fly for about 40 hours. With a maximum takeoff weight of 1,500 kilograms, it will be capable of carrying six missiles or bombs with a total weight of 300 kg."
"It's very easy to learn how to operate this drone. It will take only a month to train an operator," Wang said.