Warplanes: China Seeks Export Orders For Its Predator Clone

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October 16, 2013: Last year China began marketing a UAV (the CH-4) that is similar in shape to the 1.2 ton American Predator. CH-4 weighs 1.1 tons, has a 14 meter (46 feet) wingspan, and is 9 meters (28 feet) long. It has max altitude of 5,300 meters (16,400 feet) and an endurance of over 14 hours. Each CH-4 can carry 4 weapons (or electronic devices) under the wings, each weighing up to 100 kg. China offers Chinese made weapons for the CH-4. Chief among these are a Hellfire clone, the AR-1. This is a 45 kg (99 pound) missile with a max range of 10 kilometers and a 10 kg (22 pound) warhead. AR-1 can be equipped with either GPS or laser guidance. The other weapon is a copy of the American SDB (small diameter bomb) which is a 128 kg (281 pound) GPS guided glide bomb in the shape of a missile with a penetrating warhead. The Chinese version is the FT-5 and is a 100 kg (220 pound) GPS guided bomb in the shape of a missile.

The Chinese versions are much cheaper (about half the price) than the American originals, but for that you get aircraft and missiles that have not had many of the bugs worked out nor achieved anything like the 15 year track record of the Predator. The CH-4 was developed from the earlier (2010) CH-3. This is a 640 kg aircraft with 12 hours endurance and can carry two AR-1 missiles.

China is believed to have offered Pakistan the CH-3 and CH-4, as well as weapons for them. Thus far there have been no confirmed export sales for the CH-4.

 

 


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