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Chang Hong-4 (CH-4)

The CH-4 is built by state-owned aircraft manufacturer China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) and closely resembles the U.S.-made General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-9 Reaper drone. At Airshow China in Zhuhai in 2014, a company brochure said the CH-4 series is suitable for high-altitude missions over land and sea, and has a maximum take-off weight of 1,260kg (2,770lb) and payload capacity of 115kg. Endurance for the CH-4 series is claimed to be up to 30h.

By another account, the CH-4, has a wingspan of 18m, a take-off weight of 1.3 tons and a payload of 350kg. The Chinese UAV can carry a payload including Lan Jian 7 (Blue Arrow 7) laser-guided air-to-surface missiles, TG100 laser/INS/GPS-guided bombs, and AR-1/HJ-10 anti-tank missile the Chinese equivalent to the American-made Hellfire missile.

It is specifically designed for high-altitude missions over land and sea, and can fire its weapon from up to 5,000 meters. The CH-4 also has a retractable electro-optical sensor turret, and a datalink back to the ground control station. The CH-4 also boasts a modern, two person control station to fly the drone remotely, with provisions for both line of sight and satellite communications, Popular Science notes. The video clip also shows what appears to be Chinese support crew in the ground control station.

Franz-Stefan Gady reported October 16, 2015 that the CH-4B Rainbow unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was shown in an Iraqi video took off for its first combat mission against ISIS militants in Anbar province. The short video clip also features footage of the drone firing at an alleged ISIS target with an AR-1/HJ-10 anti-tank missile.

Iraq had received an unknown number of CH-4B combat drones in early 2015. It is not clear whether China supplied Iraq with just the CH-4B mixed attack and reconnaissance UAV shown in the video, or also with the CH-4A variant, a reconnaissance drone with a 5,000km range and 30-40 hour endurance.

CH-4 Drone CH-4 Drone

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