‘CH-5 Rainbow Drones’ of China in News

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China has recently started the commercial production of its CH-5 Rainbow drone.

CASC Rainbow (Cai Hong, abbreviated as CH) is the name of a series Chinese UAVs developed by China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), also known as the 11th Academy of CASC, or 701st Research Institute.

There are more than ten versions of this Chinese drones:
1 CH-1
2 CH-2
3 CH-3
4 CH-3A
5 CH-4
6 CH-5
7 CH-91
8 CH-92
9 CH-802
10 CH-803
11 CH-901

Latest (CH-5) UCAV of the Rainbow series with a wingspan of 21 metres, a payload of 1,000 kg, a maximum takeoff weight of over 3 tons, a service ceiling of 9 km, an endurance of up to 120 hours and a range of 10,000 km.

China conducted its maiden flight in August 2015 and its first airshow flight (in northern Hebei province) in July 2017.

The drone can carry 16 missiles at a single time. There were also plans to extend its range up to 20,000 km.

Chinese officials claimed the CH-5 Rainbow was similar in performance to the US MQ-9 Reaper and may come in at less than half the price.

United States Reaper, or Predator B, was the world’s first unmanned aerial vehicle that could attack targets on the ground. At $16.9 million, it is the world’s most expensive drone.

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