China unveiled its new CH unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system on Tuesday at Airshow China 2021 in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province. The new CH-6 is a long-endurance, high-altitude UAV described as possessing “high performance as well as affordability, reliability, and ease of use.”
As reported by The Global Times, the drone is highly survivable against harsh conditions and can be used in ‘persistent reconnaissance, surveillance, tracking, and attack missions.”
Shi Wen, chief engineer and designer of the CH UAV series, told the outlet in an interview that the CH-6 is not only capable of high performance, but it is “easy to maintain and support, and that it is very reliable and ready to sortie more often than not.”
“High performance, ease of use, and relatively low procurement and operating costs should be very attractive to its potential users,” Shi said.
The new drone system is also capable of anti-submarine missions, maritime patrols, and close-range air support. The CH-6 can be launched and operated by individual soldiers or from other larger CH drone systems. “We can call it a flying grenade,” Shi added.
CH-6 Drone Specs
The CH-6 drone has a wingspan of 20.5 meters (67.2 ft) and can carry a maximum weight on takeoff of up to 7.8 tons (7,800 kg). It can carry weapons and equipment of up to 992 lb (450 kg).
It is powered by two turbofan engines, giving the system a flight time of up to 20 hours, considerably longer than an average military drone. Reports say that even if one engine fails the remaining one can still power the drone.
The CH-6 has a top speed of 700 kph (434 mph), meaning it can easily breach most ground defense and detection systems before it is neutralized.