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Cai Hong-3 (CH-3)

The Cai Hong series of UAVs, developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) starting in the 1990s, has since progressed considerably. CASC’s CH-3 and CH-4 have primarily been exported as unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) to militaries worldwide, including Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar, and the United Arab Emirates.

According to Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur Security Review, the Chinese defense companies at the Brunei International Defense Exhibition 2009 (BRIDEX 2009) featured the Chang Hong-3 (CH-3) UCAV platform, ostensibly to sell to countries like Brunei and Cambodia. The CH-3 was also a highlight at the 12th annual Defense Services Asia (DSA)-2010 exhibition, which was held in Malaysia from April 19-22. These developments suggest that China's indigenous UCAV program has made a significant stride in recent years.

It is also worth noting that the medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UCAV model was first unveiled at the 2008 Zhuhai Airshow, only a year before BRIDEX 2009, and some industry analysts at the time believed that the CH-3 model was still far from becoming a reality. Others also claim that the CH-3 is based off the Yabhon-R, which is a system jointly developed by Malaysia and the UAE. By 2009 there were reports indicating that the Chinese may unveil a "CH-4" model.

The CH-3 carries two special modules, one on each wing tip, and a third one in the fuselage belly. In these modules, the magnetic field detectors and radioactivity detectors are capable of detecting "geomagnetic anomalies" that can be the result of mineral resources hidden beneath the earth surface, according to Liu Kai, chief designer of the CH-3.

UAV-based exploration has been extensively tested in scale operations in Nenjiang of Heilongjiang Province, as well as Karamay and Kashi of Xinjiang. This CH-3 version has completed up to 40,000-KM effective inline missions, including those conducted deep in the night, according to China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics (CAAA) of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) and China Geological Survey Bureau (CGS), the system's joint producers.

This CH-3-based system of geological survey and mineral exploration is the first of its kind in the world. It features higher safety, quality, efficiency, and intelligence compared with manned aerial geophysical measurements, and far exceeded anything conducted by land vehicles.

"The CH-3 system's debut at an international mining expo is an example of how we can put military UAVs into civilian uses. It has significant implications for the merger of military and civilian industries, apart from promoting UAV-based geological exploration in the world," said Shi Wen, chief engineer of the CAAA Caihong UAV Series.

He also explained that cost-efficiency was the reason why the CH-3 currently uses old technology of a piston engine instead of a turboprop engine, or even turbofan engine, that would allow higher speed. "Using a turboprop on CH-3 and other Caihong UAVs may cost twice as much, but its overall efficiency does not increase in proportion. In other words, I spent half the price but achieved 70 percent of what a turboprop engine can do," said Shi. He added that in geophysical measurements, lower-speed UAVs actually work better. "CH-3 adopts the canard layout because it helps reduce the stall speed; meaning it can fly even slower," he said.

Rainbow-3 UAV (code: CH-3 UAV ), independently developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation No. 11 Research Institute (China Aerospace Aerodynamics Research Institute), is a radio remote control device or its own program control device Maneuvering unmanned aerial vehicle.

The main equipment components of the Rainbow-3 UAV mid-range UAV system include: medium-range unmanned aerial vehicles, ground-mounted vehicle telemetry remote control stations and ground support equipment. The Rainbow-3 drone uses a piston engine with a maximum range of 2,400 kilometers and a cruising time of up to 12 hours without the need for fuel. The aircraft is equipped with cameras, cameras and other devices that can be used as reconnaissance aircraft.

Many military powers have converted their retired aircraft into target vehicles, opening the way for the development of modern drones. With the advancement of electronic technology, drones have become important in their reconnaissance missions. For example, during the Vietnam War , the United States used a large number of drones to reconnoiter high-value or defensive targets.

In 1982, Israel Aviation Industry Corporation pioneered the task of performing reconnaissance, intelligence gathering, tracking and communication with drones. In the 1991 Desert Storm , the US military launched a small drone designed to deceive the radar system as a bait. This bait has also become the object of imitation in other countries.

The rapid development and widespread use of drones was after the Gulf War . The Western countries headed by the United States fully recognize the role of drones in warfare, and compete to apply high technology to the development and development of drones, which not only increases the life time, but also improves the speed of image transmission and digital transmission. An advanced autopilot.

Now, some drones have been equipped with weapons. For example, the US RQ-1/MQ-1 Predator drone is equipped with the AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-surface missile to serve as more military missions, such as bombing targets, ground attack, air combat, etc.

The 11th Institute of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation has been engaged in the development of drones since 1999, adhering to the road of independent innovation and independent research and development. In 2004, without any foreign aid and experience, the UAV project team broke through the key technologies of autonomous flight technology and image transmission in a short period of time, and independently designed and developed the first one. The “Rainbow-1” drone with independent intellectual property rights and full autonomous flight capability. Since then, the "Rainbow-1" mass production and "Rainbow-2" have been successfully developed, and the Rainbow series of drones have attracted much attention.

In 2005, Rainbow-3 was developed. In 2007, with the success of the first flight of “Rainbow-3 UAV”, the UAV industry ushered in a good opportunity to transform from low-end to mid-to-high-end. The successful development of the "Sniper" missile has taken the lead in realizing the integration of the UAV weapon system in the country, making the product spectrum more broad, achieving platform serialization, spectrum, load systemization, integration, and application system. The comprehensive development of the actualization and actualization, the UAV represented by the "Rainbow" series has formed a full-spectrum product line and development system covering small, medium and short-range and large-scale high-end UAVs.

With high stealth capability, you can also use your aerodynamic stability and track planning for ultra low altitude flight. The machine body uses a large number of composite materials (more than 80% of the body is a composite material), which greatly reduces the structural weight. At the beginning of the CH-3 design, the development team considered the implementation of its integrated function. After a simple upgrade, it launched the leading “Rainbow” 3A (CH-3A) inspection and unmanned aerial vehicle system.

The Rainbow-3 UAV is equipped with a "light aircraft engine TD0 engineering prototype" designed and produced by Zongshen Power and successfully tested. “Light Aircraft Engine TD0 Engineering Prototype” is a piston gasoline engine with comprehensive performance that reaches the same level of foreign unmanned aerial vehicles. It can meet the power of 50 kWh to 150 kWh UAVs and general-purpose light aircraft. need. With the application of electronic control technology and multi-stage supercharging technology, the engine and its follow-up products can meet the flight needs of drones at high altitude and long flight time.

The Rainbow-3 drone achieves different types of tactical tasks by mounting photoelectric loads, synthetic aperture radar, electronic warfare and other equipment. It adopts the wheeled take-off and landing method, and can take off and land with the airstrip. This drone is deployed in a platoon that covers a 200-kilometer radius mission area for intelligence and strike support for special operations

Rainbow-3 (CH-3A) is an integrated reconnaissance attack system that integrates multiple information systems. The system has broken through the key technologies of integration and inspection, which can not only reconnaissance, but also accurately strike the ground fixed and moving targets. The entire weapon system consists of a ground control station and three drones and associated loads and weapons. In addition, a new AR-1 (Slot-1) laser semi-active guided air-to-ground missile was also equipped for the CH-3A Integrated Unmanned Aerial Vehicle System, which was successful. The AR-1 can also be mounted on a helicopter for combat.

This type of missile belongs to a new generation of air-to-ground anti-tank missiles. It is comparable to the US AGM-114 "Hellfire" helicopter-borne anti-tank missile. Its main features can be launched at high altitude, making it higher than the shoulder-smashing anti-aircraft missile. The high range improves the survivability of the carrier platform. Moreover, the missile can be launched at a large off-axis angle, which reduces the difficulty in launching and makes it easier to capture the launch timing, making it ideal for fixed-wing drones.

The CH-3A can mount an optical reconnaissance payload and two AR-1 laser semi-active guided air-to-ground missiles (or GPS precision guided bombs are used for ground attack with an attack accuracy of less than 1.5 meters. After the baptism of multiple markets and local events, CH-3A has become a complete platform for unmanned aerial vehicles.

The "Rainbow"-3 AR-1 air-to-surface missile mounted on the aircraft is the first weapon in the world to be developed specifically for drones. The parameters are similar to the famous American "Maverick" missile. It uses inertia plus GPS composite guidance and weighs only 45 kilograms. The warhead is equipped with 6.8 kilograms of high-energy mixed explosive. The maximum armor thickness is 1.4 meters. After the "Rainbow-3" mounts this kind of ground attack weapon, it can completely attack targets such as enemy tanks and fixed fortifications.

It also has a good market prospect in civil use, such as forest fire prevention, meteorological survey, ocean surveying and mapping, and geological exploration. In addition, the aircraft can also be used for police, perform patrols, and track and monitor criminals.

The Rainbow-3 drone has been able to achieve low-altitude flight independently using its aerodynamic stability and track planning. In the undulating mountainous area, CH-3 generally flies at a height of 100 meters from the ground, and the lowest altitude is 30 meters away from the ground. The aeromagnetic sensor is used for prospecting, and the geological department has completed the production flight of more than 50,000 kilometers.

It is worth mentioning that in the past, aeronautical geophysical exploration used a large number of navigation aircraft or small transport aircraft. Some people drive for a long time in low-altitude conditions, which is easy to fatigue and cause danger. The accuracy of the route is also affected by human factors, and must be carried out during the day. The CH-3 drone can make up for this defect, with high safety, high level of automation, and can be dispatched day and night, making the aerial geophysical exploration of drones normal, greatly improving the efficiency of production operations.

Chinese nameRainbow-3 drone
English name CH-3 UAV
Development time 2005
Country China
Aircraft type Medium medium range drone
Development unit China Aerospace Science and Technology Group No. 11 Research Institute
span8.0 meters
Length5.5 meters
Machine height2.0 meters
Takeoff weight650 kg
Payload60-180 kg
powerplantOne piston engine
Maximum range 2400 km
Maximum cruising time 12 to 15 hours
Maximum speed 256 km / h
Maximum ceiling7000 meters
Cruising altitude3000 to 5000 meters
Maximum range2400 km
endurance12~15 hours
weaponAR-1 air-to-ground missile
Chang Hong-3 (CH-3) Chang Hong-3 (CH-3) Chang Hong-3 (CH-3) Chang Hong-3 (CH-3) Chang Hong-3 (CH-3) Chang Hong-3 (CH-3) Chang Hong-3 (CH-3)

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Page last modified: 11-05-2021 19:54:16 ZULU