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    The domestic combat drone is upgraded

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    The Caihong-4, China‘s top-selling unmanned combat aircraft, will soon have a more powerful engine which should greatly improve its operating capacity, according to its manufacturer.

    The China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics in Beijing, a subsidiary of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, said in a press release on Wednesday that a prototype equipped with a new type of heavy fuel piston engine has recently completed all the tests required to verify the drone’s autonomous take-off and landing, load capacity, ceiling and flight radius, as well as other functions.

    Successful test flights have confirmed that the upgraded drone is ready for operational deployment. The new version can be deployed on plateaus and islands and will also prove useful in civilian operations such as providing a signal relay in emergencies, extinguishing forest fires and obtaining data for city authorities, the academy said.

    The Beijing-based academy is one of China‘s leading military drone exporters. The Caihong-4, popularly known as the CH-4, has been sold to 10 countries, making it the most popular combat-proven drone the country has exported, according to academy statistics.

    Shi Wen, chief designer of the Caihong, or Rainbow series, said the CH-4s currently in active service are powered by gasoline engines, while the new version runs on diesel or gasoline. kerosene.

    “The new engine is the product of a Chinese private company, which owns all the intellectual property rights. It has world-class technologies, greater power, ‘increased reliability and lower fuel consumption and can be used in harsh environments,’ Shi said on Wednesday. longer in its target airspace, to fly higher and higher and to carry more weapons and equipment,” he explained. ique.

    The new CH-4 will be on the market next year.

    Academy information shows that the current model can stay aloft for up to 30 hours on a single task. It has a maximum speed of 230 kilometers per hour, but generally operates at cruising speeds of 150 to 180 km/h.

    With a maximum take-off weight of 1.33 tons, it can carry nearly 350 kilograms of weapons and equipment including missiles, bombs, radars, cameras and various civilian payloads.

    The drone has accumulated more than 20,000 flight hours with users around the world, the academy said.

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