Serbia has reportedly taken delivery of a batch of CH-92A armed reconnaissance drones plus missiles recently, the first time China has exported military-use aviation equipment to a European country and a milestone for Chinese arms firms in the European market. The drones are expected to become some of the most advanced weapons in the Serbian arsenal, as the cost-efficient unmanned aircraft can conduct tactical reconnaissance, precision targeting, ground attack and patrol missions. A total of nine CH-92A drones plus 18 FT-8C air-to-ground missiles were included in the delivery. Fifteen more drones are expected in future procurements, according to chinese state media outlets Global Times.
Developed by the state-owned China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), the CH-92A drone has a combat radius of more than 250 kilometers, a ceiling of 5,000 meters, and a maximum speed of 200 kilometers an hour, and it can carry two missiles, including the FT-8C air-to-ground missile that can reach targets 9 kilometers away, according to publicly available information. the CH-92A is the best option for Serbia because of its high cost-efficiency. At a relatively low price, this type of medium-sized drone can offer precise tactical reconnaissance, hit ground targets including high-value targets and bunkers, guide artillery fire, and conduct patrol missions in sensitive areas such as border and conflict regions.
This is the first time China has exported military-use aviation equipment to a European country, which will have great significance in Chinese arms firms’ position in the European market. Chinese arms firms have been active providers of military-use drones in the international market, as CH series and Wing Loong series drones can often be seen in the Middle East and Africa. As of December 2018, 100 Wing Loong drones had been delivered to foreign clients. Chinese weapons and equipment are well known on the international market not only because of their high efficiency and low cost, but also good after-sales services and logistics support. China does not attach political conditions to arms sales, unlike some countries such as the US.