For the first time, Chinese UAVs are flying and fighting in the Middle East

(From Popular Mechanics)

Although not as good as their American counterparts, they can be purchased quicker and with fewer strings

By Kyle Mizokami

Chinese drones are being used on two fronts in the Middle East, the first time modern, high-tech weaponry by the People’s Republic has been used on the battlefield. The Predator-type drones will likely bolster demand for Chinese weapons, which have previously had a reputation for being unsophisticated and unreliable.

Chinese drone used by Iraq military

Chinese drone used by Iraq military

After the success of American Predator and Reaper drones post-9/11, China quickly jumped on the unmanned aerial vehicle bandwagon. One result is the CH (Cai Hong, or Rainbow)-4, a medium-altitude, long endurance armed drone. The CH-4 entered service with the People’s Liberation Army Air Force in 2014.

Looking very much like a MQ-9 Reaper drone, the CH-4 has similar characteristics. Built for intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance, it is also armed to permit precision-guided air strikes. With maximum payload and fuel, it can remain aloft for up to 14 hours.

For armament, the CH-4 can carry 4-6 AR-1 laser guided anti-tank missiles, each capable of penetrating up to 1,000 millimeters of armored plate and hitting targets at ranges of up to 8 kilometers. The CH-4 can also carry 100 pound laser-guided bombs.

An electro-optical turret incorporating an imaging infrared sensor and laser can spot and designate targets, and a synthetic aperture radar can three-dimensionally image targets and terrain on the ground. Read more

Categories: Asia Times News & Features, China

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