Nation's drones are in demand

Updated: 2016-04-21 01:05

By Zhao Lei(China Daily)

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Nation's drones are in demand

The CH-5 combat drone makes its maiden flight at an airport in northwestern China on Aug 26. Huang Liang / China Daily

'What users need'

"Foreign militaries bought our products because, first, our drones have strong capabilities and are easy to use. If you can play flight simulation games, then you can use our drones. Second, we understand what users really need," Shi said.

Compared with their competitors, the CH drones have bigger payloads, which means they can carry more weapons, and a higher level of automation, so only a small number of ground controllers are needed, he said.

The academy's designers researched the requirements of potential users and decided their military drones should operate at an altitude above 5,000 meters.

"We believe most of our users would use the drones to patrol borders, reconnoiter targets and hit terrorists or insurgents, who usually own small anti-aircraft weapons capable of striking planes flying about 3,000 meters above the ground. Therefore the 5,000-meter altitude is high enough to ensure the safety of our drones," Shi said.

The CH-3 and CH-4 are capable of firing missiles from about 10 km away from a target and can stay in the air for more than 10 hours. They also have a long life span, Shi said.

"The CH-3 has a designed operational span of 5,000 hours. It is very good at long-duration, continual operation. One of our clients in Africa uses each of its CH-3s about 100 hours on average each month. It once used a CH-3 for about 300 hours in a single month, and the drone had no problem at all," he said.