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Tengden improves TW328-A UCAV weapon-carrying ability

Tengden's improved TW328-A (TB-A) unmanned combat aerial vehicle is being equipped to carry a wide variety of air-launched weapons. The weapons displayed in this image were confirmed to have been integrated with the TW328 series during a test flight on 26 June. (Janes)

The Tengden TW328-A Scorpion A (TB-A) unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) is being improved for enhanced flight performance and to carry a larger weapons load.

The TW328-A is a larger version of the Tengden TB-001 Scorpion UCAV that is operational with the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA).

In imagery aired by the state-owned broadcaster, China Central Television (CCTV), on 26 June, Tengden showed its improved TW328-A and TB-001 series of UCAVs, equipped with a range of air-launched weaponry. A Janes analysis of the imagery has found that the improved TW328-A has seven weapon hardpoints – three of which are triple- or dual-weapon launchers. Earlier models of the TB-001, including an older TW328-A variant, have four hardpoints. Only two of these could support the dual carriage and launch of weapons.

The aircraft subsequently conducted a flight test on 26 June. The broadcaster described this as China's first “technical demonstration flight”. The broadcaster added that the test was to assess the platform's ability to operate in close formations while carrying a wide variety of munitions.

The TW328, which is designated as the TB-001 in PLA service, has emerged as an important unmanned platform for the PLA. Since September 2022 the PLA has conducted at least 16 known sorties using TB-001s in Taiwan's air-defence identification zone (ADIZ). Japan has also recorded multiple incursions by TB-001s into its ADIZ during this period.

A Janes

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