China’s Big New Twin-Jet Long-Endurance Armed Combat Drone Emerges

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  1. Calliers

    Calliers Administrator/Editor Staff Member

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    China's big international airshow in Zhuhai hasn’t even officially kicked off yet, but we are already getting a peek at what is going to be displayed there. One new development is China's J-16D electronic attack jet being seen with jamming pods for the first time. Now we are getting our first lifesize view of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation's Cai Hong (Rainbow) 6, better known by its designation CH-6. It is a long-endurance, twin-jet engine, multirole drone. In the past, we have only seen models and low-fidelity renderings of the design.

    The CH-6 is considered to be a high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) unmanned system designed for intelligence gathering, support, and strike roles. It looks almost something like a drastically enlarged CH-5, but its rear configuration is very different from that earlier design. It has a high T-tail setup, with two jet engines installed atop the tail section side-by-side. The drone's mid-set long wings are also a bit swept and the entire package sits atop tall landing gear. The aircraft also has a notable chine-line-like edge that wraps around its ellipse-shaped fuselage.

    According to China-Arms.com, which claims to have the basic information that will be displayed about the CH-6 at the airshow, its stats include:

    "The CH-6 UAV’s parameters include maximum takeoff weight of 7.8 tons, maximum load capacity of 300 kg (reconnaissance type) or 2 tons (reconnaissance-attack type), fuel capacity of 3.42 tons (reconnaissance type) or 1.72 tons (reconnaissance-attack type), overall length of 15 meters, wingspan of 20.5 meters, height of 5 meters, maximum level flight speed of 800 km/h, cruise speed of 500 km/h to 700 km/h, cruise altitude of 10 km, ceiling of 12 km, a maximum endurance of 20 hours (reconnaissance type) or 8 hours (reconnaissance-attack type), a maximum range of 12,000 km (reconnaissance type) or 4,500 km (reconnaissance-attack type), a maximum climb rate of 20 m/s, and an operating radius (apparent) of 300 km."

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