The mass-production model of China’s heaviest attack and reconnaissance drone to date, the Caihong 5 (CH-5) or Rainbow 5, today completed its trial flight in the northern Hebei Province. Introduced at an international airshow in the southern Chinese city of Zhuhai last year, the CH-5 can conduct reconnaissance, surveillance, patrol, target positioning and strike missions, according to its developer. “We’ve made several modifications after its debut, and its comprehensive functions are among the world’s best,” Shi Wen, the chief engineer of the Rainbow drone project at the China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics, told state-run Xinhua news agency.
The CH-5 has a wingspan of 21 meters and is capable of carrying up to 1,000 kg of equipment. It can stay in the air for 60 hours with a range of more than 10,000 kms, Shi said. The CH-5 can also be used for civilian purposes such as resource surveying, marine environmental protection, disaster survey, marine law enforcement and emergency responses. “We will conduct more trial flights and might add fine changes to meet needs of various customers. We believe it will be a success in domestic and international markets,” he added.