Foreign Customer Testing China’s CH-4 Networked Drones

  • Our Bureau
  • 02:29 PM, February 6, 2017
  • 5536
Foreign Customer Testing China’s CH-4 Networked Drones
Drone Swarm

Teams from a foreign military customer of China’s CH-4B series of attack drones recently tested four such drones networked to perform as a fleet.

Networked attack drones could be a formidable force multiplier in a battlefield scenario with each drone ‘assigned’ to one or several target which eliminates the need for bombing populated areas such as during the war in Yemen or Syria.

Officials from Chinese drone manufacturer, China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics (CAAA) were quoted in a report that ground controllers from the unnamed foreign nation who were trained at the academy guided four CH-4B drones via satellite to work together in a patrol.

The report quoted Huang Wei, a senior researcher who oversaw the test, said the networking of multiple drones is useful for joint operations in combat. Huang said only China and the US are capable of conducting joint operations using multiple drones.

The trainees could be from the existing customers of the CH series of drones which include Iraq, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt.

Equipped with air to ground missiles such as the AR-2, the CH-4 presents itself as formidable close-combat weapon, especially when up against targets which don’t have drone detection technology.

The CH series of drones is one of China’s most successful military exports and western analysts believe it is modelled on the US-made MQ-9 Reaper. They refer to images of the Chinese made drone appearing on social media that have lettering in English rather than Chinese as proof of possible copying.

However some others say that the lettering could be for an export model designed for a military whose basic teaching is in English. China has a policy of making its defence products compatible with US or NATO standard so that its products fit in with existing or future western weapons.

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