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China delivers 5 CASC CH-4 UAVs to Pakistan


According to open-source export-import records, the Chinese defence contractor Aerospace Long-March International (ALIT) delivered five CASC CH-4 unmanned aerial vehicles to the Pakistanese Army.

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China delivers 5 CASC CH 4 UAVs to Pakistan

Chinese-made CASC CH-4 medium altitude long-endurance (MALE) tactical UAV unveiled at AirShow China 2012 (Picture source: Army Recognition)


The shipment was recorded on 15 January 2021. 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, Quwa Defence News and Analysis Group reports.

Pakistan joins Iraq, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Myanmar, and Jordan as an operator of the CH-4. It is unclear if Pakistan ordered the CH-4A or CH-4B. If the CH-4B, the Pakistan Army will gain another armed drone (in addition to its Burraq-series) for unmanned combat operations.

The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) Caihong 4 (Rainbow 4, or CH-4), is a medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE)-class, strike-capable reconnaissance platform that has been developed by the China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics. The CH-4 was developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) on the basis of the previous model, the CH-3. According to its developer, the CH-4 has better basic performance than that of the U.S.-based General Atomics MQ-1 Predator, and is more efficient in reconnaissance, surveillance, and strike missions.

Chinese aviation defence industry launched the CH-4 MALE UAV at the 9th AirShow China in Zhuhai, demonstrating China’s efforts in designing and manufacturing of new generations of UAVs. There are two variants of this new UAV: the CH-4A and the CH-4B. Both of them have a similar appearance and construction, but with more options of combat mission payloads. It can carry up to 4 AGMs (AR-1) or 4 precision guided bombs (60 kg level each), providing unparalleled battle effectiveness to time-sensitive targets. The CH-4 model showed at AirShow China 2012 was armed with two AR-1 short range ground-to-air missiles and two FT-5 guided-bombs.

Pakistan was initially linked to a possible CH-4 drone purchase in 2016 when Shi Wen, the lead designer of drones at China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) at the time, said the company was talking to a South Asian customer.