China’s growing influence in unmanned aerial systems is being felt at the Paris Air Show with the Western debut of its Wing Loong 2 medium-altitude, long-endurance armed reconnaissance system.

Making its first appearance at a Western air show in full-scale mockup form, the 9,260-lb. (4,200-kg.) Catic Wing Loong 2 is essentially a copy of the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper that can be equipped with a wide range of Chinese-produced sensors and weaponry, with a maximum payload of 1,058 lb.

The prototype Wing Loong 2 flew for the first time in February.

At Le Bourget, the aircraft is being displayed with a number of Chinese-produced weapons, including the YJ-9E anti-ship missile, the Blue Arrow 7, TL-2 and AG-300 air-to-ground missiles and the LS-9 small-diameter bomb.

The Wing Loong 2 is developed from Catic’s original Wing Loong platform, which reportedly first flew in 2009.

U.S. reluctance to sell advanced unmanned systems to its Middle Eastern allies has proved a blessing for Chinese manufacturers, who have managed to sell their armed UAVs in bulk. The China Aerospace Science & Technology Corp. (CASC) has sold its CH-4 system to Egypt, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Iraq has used the platforms against the self-proclaimed Islamic State group, while Saudi Arabia has been using them against the Houthi rebels in Yemen. In March, it was announced that CASC could open a factory to build as many as 300 CH-4 systems for the Saudi armed forces over the coming years.