China is seeking an export licence for its new CH-5 combat and reconnaissance drone which is capable of launching air-to-surface missiles and laser-guided bombs.
Developed by state-owned China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics, CH-5 made its first flight in August, becoming the heaviest and strongest military drone in China.
It made its public debut at the China (Shenzhen) International Unmanned Vehicle Systems Trade Fair show in November last year.
Chinese drones “have bigger payloads, which means they can carry more weapons” than their competitors, Shi Wen, chief drone designer at the academy, told the China Daily newspaper.
Stating that China has exported military drones to more than 10 countries in deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars, Shi said that the country now plans to sell unmanned craft capable of launching laser-guided bomb.
China has also exported smaller unarmed search aircraft, the newspaper said, citing a report last year that the academy would export about 200 drones.