China May Have Executed Large Order for CH-4 Drones

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China may have executed a large order for CH-4 drones which are considered similar to  the MQ-9 Reaper armed/reconnaissance UAVs.

Twitter handles following Chinese defence industry reported Tunisia to be possible customer as it had evaluated CH-4 drones last year. The information is unconfirmed.

Six of these drones were reportedly purchased by Jordan to be supplied to Field Marshal Khalifa Belqasim Haftar, the commander of the Libyan National Army, it now appears the UAVs are for another customer as the Jordanian delivery to the Haftar militia happened in the last week of March. The drones have been delivered to Jordan before that.

CH-4 drone manufacturing and assembly was in full swing around mid-March when China managed to keep COVID-19 spread in control. Manufacturer CH UAV Co Ltd., owned by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), even released photographs showing at least eight of these drones in different stages of assembly – while some were nearing completion, the others were just frames and had no paint or no electronic devices installed.

“The high rate of production indicated that the CH-4 drone remains an item that is very much in demand on the international market in 2020. The manufacturer is attempting to keep up with the original production schedule to deliver the drones on time,” a military expert had told Global Times.

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.