Could China's "Dark Sword" Stealth Drone Be The World's First Supersonic UAV?

The Anjian (Chinese for “Dark Sword”) stealth drone China displayed as a conceptual model way back in 2006 has been stealthy indeed since then: no news, no views and no clues. A Chinese aviation expert has now broken the silence surrounding the dart-shaped aircraft, however, speculating a production version of the Anjian could emerge as the world's first supersonic UAV.

The Dark Sword made an inauspicious debut at the 2006 Zhuhai Airshow in southern China's Guangdong province; ingloriously bolted to a table and described via a placard as a potential high-speed combat drone with no hint of an introduction date. It was displayed only once more, later that year at the Paris Air Show, before dropping out of sight and mind.

Now the Anjian is back – at least, back in the conversation. It's noteworthy that domestic Chinese aviation expert Fu Qianshao (and not some foreign talking head) brought up the subject of the Dark Sword in an interview with CCTV.

As the premier state-owned and operated television broadcaster in mainland China, CCTV (China Central Television) is not in the habit of spewing sensationalism or sparking groundless rumors... unless, of course, the government gives their say-so.

As reported by Taiwan-based Want China Times, “Fu Qianshao told CCTV that while he does not know the status of the Dark Sword project, the drone could become the world's first supersonic UAV if it proves a success.”

Fu added he "would not be surprised if the project is still ongoing in secret as a lack of transparency is nothing new for the aviation industry and is an approach commonly taken by the Americans.” China last surprised the world 50 years ago with their successful first atomic bomb test. With the Anjian “Dark Sword”, they may be poised to do so again. (images via Want China Times and Errymath)