A prototype of the Chinese Caihong-7 (CH-7) or Rainbow 7 advanced stealth drone will be unveiled in the Zhuhai Airshow starting on Tuesday, said Global Times in a report on Monday.
Made by the Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), the CH-7 is said to be the latest and the most technologically advanced drone in China’s arsenal.
Caihong-7 is a high-altitude, subsonic, and stealth drone having a wingspan of 22 meters. With a maximum takeoff weight of 13 tons, it can mount more advanced reconnaissance payloads and more combat weapons, performing on-demand missions on high-value targets. It employs a turbofan engine giving it the ability to fly at high altitudes and high speed.
The CH-7 is competing with the United States-made RQ-180 and X-47B. “It will inherit high reliability, high attendance, universal ground station and full automatic control technology of its predecessors CH-4 and CH-5. The drone boasts of a radar invisible shape and is coated with radar absorbing material to be useful for stealth operations,” the report said quoting a local defence expert.
The display of the prototype at the show indicates the Chinese government’s eagerness to offer the drone for export. Previously, China had signed an export contract with Saudi Arabia for its Wing Loong drone soon after its first flight