China will hav new drones to match US MQ-25 and UCLASS drones

China is developing new drones that will allow synchronized operations between UAVs and military aircraft, and carrier-based UAVs are also being developed.

Shi Wen, chief engineer and designer of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp (CASC) Caihong (CH) and his team developed a series of UAVs, including the CH-3, CH-4 and the advanced CH-5, which can now engage in surveillance and attack missions. The CH series of drones is popular among nations along the Belt and Road initiative, especially in some Middle East and African countries, which have a huge demand for weapons.

A new generation CH series UAVs, the CH-X, will be displayed at Airshow China 2018 in Zhuhai this year.

China’s Most Powerful Armed Drone CH-5 drone with wingspan of 21 meters and range of more than 10,000 kilometersA made is first flight in north China’s Hebei Province, July 14, 2017. The Ch-5 is capable of carrying upto two pairs on outboard pylons of each wing for total of eight 45 kg AR-1 supersonic anti-tank guided missiles with range of 10 km and up to one quad-pack on the inboard pylons of each wing for total of eight 20 kg AR-2 short-range semi-active laser (SAL) air-to-surface missiles with range of 8 km.

The new drones will be matching the U.S. Navy’s UCLASS program which take off and land from aircraft carriers and the U.S. MQ-25 Stingray program, which will deploy refueling tanker drones to carriers in the coming years.

The MQ-25 can extend the Super Hornet’s 450 nmi (520 mi; 830 km) unrefueled combat radius to beyond 700 nmi (810 mi; 1,300 km). The Navy’s goal for the aircraft is to be able to deliver 15,000 lb (6,800 kg) of fuel total to 4 to 6 airplanes at a range of 500 nmi (580 mi; 930 km).