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12:27 PM, September 2, 2015
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China’s Biggest UAV, CH-5 ‘Rainbow’ Marks First Flight
Ch 5 Rainbow UAV at an air show in China. Image: SCMP

China's CH-5 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), also known as ‘Rainbow 5’ and claimed to be its biggest UAV so far, made its maiden flight in Gansu province, state media reported on Monday.

With a wingspan of 20 meters, a maximum take-off weight of 3 tons, maximum payload of around 900 kilograms and an endurance of more than 30 hours at low- and medium-altitude, the UAV is twice the size of previous Chinese –made military UAV, the Beijing Times claimed.

The maiden flight, scheduled in the early morning to avoid rush hour for civil flights, took 20 minutes before it landed smoothly as programmed, according to CCTV.

The CH-5 is the largest reconnaissance and strike drone developed by the country according to the Chinese Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).

The UAV will affect the way of dealing with anti-terrorist attacks in future, since its heavier loading capacity enables it to accommodate perspective radar to detect terrorists inside buildings or woods and communication-command devices to lead a drone fleet, said Ou Zhongming, head of the UAV project at the CASC.

"It will increase the range of reconnaissance from 30 kilometers to 80 kilometers, which will discover targets over a longer distance and prevent any danger," Lan Wenbo, an official at the CASC told CCTV.

The drone is designed to perform reconnaissance, surveillance, targeting, intelligence gathering, electronic warfare, border patrol, island defense and anti-terrorism missions.

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