SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
Cai Hong 4 also known as CH-4 is a medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE)-class, strike-capable reconnaissance platform that has been developed by the China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics (CAAA) and as per latest images leaked on the Internet was reportedly tested from its Airbases in Tibetan plateau close to Indian border with new sensors and payload to detect targets hidden in the mountain terrain .
As per pictures leaked online, CH-4 was transported to the forward air base in the Tibetan plateau and later reassembled by a team of Chinese defense firm officials CASC which manufactures them test its Optoelectronics in night mode in the mountain terrain.
According to CASC, CH-4 has better performance than the earlier MQ-1 drone and can shoot 50kg cluster bombs and a vast array of guided missiles. and can stay up in the air for 15 hours 20km above sea level and can be produced for about $5 million (£3.6 million) versus the roughly $100 million (£72 million) price tag for a US-made unmanned aerial system.”
CH-4 has a maximum take-off weight of 1,330 kg and a payload capacity of 345 kg. Glass fiber-based composite materials are used extensively to construct the 8.5 m-long main body and 18 m span wings, reducing the overall weight of the air vehicle as well as its radar cross-section (RCS).
Trials of CH-4 near Indian border indicates that China is trying to improve its surveillance capabilities in the region and also equipping their drones with improved sensors for effective reconnaissance in mountain terrain and also to operate in harsh weather conditions in the Himalayas.
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