China is offering to sell Jordan missile-firing drones to fight the Islamic State terror army, Washington Times reports, quoting a U.S. congressman. “I am now aware that China is presently in Jordan to discuss operations, logistics and maintenance associated with the urgent sale of weaponized unmanned systems,” Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican, said in a letter on Thursday to President Obama.
The US administration denied Jordanian requests for unarmed Predator XP last October. Rep. Hunter (R. Ca) has been supporting the sale’s approval, allowing CA. based General Atomics sell its Predator unmanned surveillance aircraft to the kingdom and other Middle East customers. Jordan asked the armed drones in 2014, to help its air force fight the Islamic State in neighboring Syria and Iraq.
Among the drones now available for export are the Predator class Wing Loong or CH-4 drones are capable of carrying weapons. The Wing Loong I is already operational, capable of carrying 100 kg of aerial ordnance.
China has recently expanded its UAV offering to include armed versions. In the absence of alternatives from market leading suppliers in the USA and Israel, China and Turkey are both pursuing armed UAV requests from the UAE, Egypt, Jordan and Nigeria. According to press reports, some were already sold to Saudi Arabia in 2014.