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article imageChina unveils new combat stealth drone in development

By Karen Graham     Nov 7, 2018 in Technology
Zhuhai - China’s 2018 Zhuhai Air Show is off and running, giving defense contractors a chance to show off some intriguing new weapon designs, including a combat stealth drone called the CH-7.
Under development is the CH-7 (“Caihong,” or “Rainbow”) UCAV, or unmanned combat aerial vehicle. The CH-7 is a tailless, stealth drone developed by Chinese Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, a state-owned aerospace company.
The company also builds rockets and the CH series of combat drones that includes the CH-4 Predator drone. According to China’s state-run Global Times newspaper, the CH-7 is designed to “detect and destroy hostile strategic targets.”
China has been able to gain sales of its drone in the Middle East and other places by selling them cheaper and without the political conditions attached by U.S. companies. Shi-Wen, the CH-7's chief designer says the aircraft can "fly long hours, scout and strike the target when necessary."
Justin Bronk, an export on such technologies at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies in London says that because the U.S. is so cautious on selling its higher-end unmanned system, this has given China an opportunity to expand its export of drone technology.
"It would represent an area of Chinese arms export offerings which no other country offers," Bronk said, according to CTV News Canada.
"Very soon, I believe, in the next one to two years, (we) can see the CH-7 flying in the blue skies, gradually being a practical and usable product in the future," Shi told The Associated Press, according to CBS News.
The CH-7 has a wingspan of 22 meters (72 feet) and a length of 10 meters (33 feet), the swept-wing CH-7 is the size of a combat aircraft and has a single engine capable of achieving the speed of a commercial jetliner. The U.S., Russia, and France are developing stealth drones while Israel has long been a leader in the UAV field.
China is quickly expanding its influence across a part of the world crucial to American security interests. It is also evident that China is on its way to leading the high-tech arms race. The CH-7 is just one of a number of combat drones on display at the air show.
Ron Huisken, a regional security expert at Australian National University cited the lack of strong international agreements on where and how combat drones can be used. "One wonders what nasty surprises are in store as countries more casual about how they use drones and less strict about training standards get their hands on them," said Huisken.
More about China, Airshow, combat drone, CH7, stateowned company
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