CASC CH-4 Rainbow unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs)
CASC CH-4 Rainbow unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV)

Pakistan Receives CH-4 Drones from China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation

According to QUWA, the Chinese defence contractor Aerospace Long-March International (ALIT) delivered five CH-4 unmanned aerial vehicles to the Pakistan Army. The shipment was recorded on 15 January 2021. But it is unclear if Pakistan ordered the CH-4A or CH-4B, or a small-scale purchase for testing or limited utilization. Pakistan joins Iraq, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Myanmar, and Jordan as an operator of the CH-4. Externally, CH-4 looks almost identical to General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper, and the only distinct visual difference between two UAVs is that the ventral fin below the V-tail on MQ-9 is absent on CH-4.

CASC Rainbow CH4 (Cai Hong 4) is a series of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) developed by the China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics, an entity under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). There are two versions, the CH-4A and CH-4B. The CH-4A is a reconnaissance drone (capable of a 3500–5000 km range and a 30- to 40-hour endurance) while the CH-4B is a mixed attack and reconnaissance system with provisions for 6 weapons and a payload of up to 250 to 345 kg. CH-4 is capable of firing air-to-ground missile from altitude of 5,000 meters (~16,400 feet), therefore the aircraft can stay outside of effective range of most anti-aircraft guns.

The CH-4 drone has a maximum take-off weight of 1300 kg and a payload of 345 kg in addition to its electro-optical turret and synthetic aperture radar. The aircraft has a wingspan of 18 metres and length of 8.5 metres. It is powered by a 100 hp class piston engine giving a top speed of 235 km/h and cruise speed of 180 km/h with endurance of up to 40 hours. It also allows CH-4 to be able to fire from a position that provides wider viewing area. Equipped with air to ground missiles such as the AR-2, the CH-4 presents itself as formidable close-combat weapon, especially when up against targets which don’t have drone detection technology.

CASC CH-4 Rainbow unmanned aerial vehicles
CASC CH-4 Rainbow unmanned aerial vehicles

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