Air Platforms

Wing Loong II UAVs deployed to western Egyptian base

27 February 2020

A still from footage released in October 2018 shows one of Egypt’s Wing Loong UAVs carrying weapons, probably Blue Arrow-7 missiles. Source: Egyptian Ministry of Defence

Medium-altitude, long-endurance UAVs that are probably AVIC Wing Loong IIs have been deployed to an airbase in western Egypt that is close to the Libyan border.

A Maxar satellite image from 20 February shows four UAVs with a length of 11 m and a wingspan of 21 m - the same dimensions as the Wing Loong II - near a solitary hangar at the facility, which has been referred to as both Othman and Siwa Air Base.

Another UAV could be seen next to seven recently constructed aircraft shelters further up the runway on the same date.

Three of the UAVs were parked outside the isolated hangar on 10 February, with a smaller Wing Loong I visible at a clamshell hangar next to the new aircraft shelters.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the only known operator of the Wing Loong II and has been flying them in support of Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA), which is fighting the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).

Both Egypt and the UAE operate the Wing Loong I, which has a wingspan of 14 m.

Evidence that Egypt had acquired the Wing Loong emerged in the form of photographs released to social media in 2016. UAVs matching its dimensions were subsequently seen in satellite imagery of Bir Gifgafa Air Base in the Sinai Peninsula.

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