Nation's drones are in demand

Updated: 2016-04-21 01:05

By Zhao Lei(China Daily)

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Larger capacity

The latest and heaviest drone in the CH family is the CH-5 combat and reconnaissance drone, which has prompted keen interest among foreign clients, even though it just made its first flight in August, Shi said.

The CH-5 is made of composite materials and has a wingspan of 21 meters. It can stay in the air for up to 30 hours and operate at an altitude of up to five km. It can fly at speeds ranging from 160 to 220 km/h and operate 2,000 km from ground control if connected via satellite.

While previous armed drones typically had a maximum takeoff weight of less than 1,500 kg, the CH-5 is able to fly with a weight of 3,300 kg, according to the academy's specifications.

The larger capacity enables the drone to have more reconnaissance devices so it can detect a given target within an 80 km radius, said Lan Wenbo, a chief engineer.

Shi said the CH-5 is capable of launching various air-to-surface missiles and laser-guided bombs and will be able to conduct early-warning operations after an upgrade.

"We have submitted an application for the government's approval for its export," he said.