Pakistan Air Force Received First Chinese CH-4 Drones

Pakistan Receives CH-4 Drones from China A shipment containing an unspecified number of CH-4 Drones from China was received in Pakistan on January 15.

According to a customs extract quoted by Pakistani website Quwa, 21 pieces of equipment other than drones were exported by China’s defense contractor Aersopace Long-March International Trade (ALIT). The import customer was mentioned as “Headquarters Civil Works Organization.”

It is not yet clear if this order is an initial batch ahead of a larger acquisition, or a small-scale purchase for testing or limited utilization.

The CH-4 drone has a maximum take-off weight of 1300 kg and a payload of 345 kg in addition to its electro-optical turret and synthetic aperture radar. The aircraft has a wingspan of 18 metres and length of 8.5 metres. It is powered by a 100 hp class piston engine giving a top speed of 235 km/h and cruise speed of 180 km/h with endurance of up to 40 hours.

Equipped with air to ground missiles such as the AR-2, the CH-4 presents itself as formidable close-combat weapon, especially when up against targets which don’t have drone detection technology.

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The CH series of drones is one of China’s most successful military exports and western analysts believe it is a reverse engineered copy of the American MQ-9 Reaper.

Pakistan Aeronautics Complex (PAC) and China’s Chengdu Aircraft Corporation in 2018 said they would produce Wing Loong II UAV (GJ-2) for Pakistan Air Force together. This drone is intended for use as a surveillance and aerial reconnaissance, and precision strike platform. Wing Loong II has long range strike capability with a satellite link.

Compared to the CH-4, the Wing Loong II has greater maximum take-off weight of 4,200kg. It can attain speeds of up to 370km/h and has an endurance of 32 hours.

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