china unveils 'most advanced' stealth drone: report

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A model of a CH-902 drone is seen on display at the Airshow China 2018 in Zhuhai, south China's Guangdong province on November 6, 2018

BEIJING: China has unveiled its new-generation stealth combat unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), stated to be the most advanced drone developed so far by the country, according to a media report Tuesday.

The UAV - CH7 - was unveiled on Monday at the Air Show China 2018 in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province, the state-run Global Times reported.

Shi Wen, the chief engineer and designer of China's Caihong (CH) or Rainbow UAV series claimed that "the performance of the CH7 in many areas is much better than the US-made RQ-170, and quite close to the RQ-180."

The CH7 makes China the second country, following the US, to produce high-altitude long-endurance combat UAVs with advanced penetration capabilities, Shi told the paper.

The UAV has internal weapons bays, making it capable of launching weapons, like anti-radiation missiles, air-to-ground or anti-ship missiles and long-distance precision-guided bombs, he said, adding it will be test-flown in one to two years, and can be customised.

Shi said due to its high altitude, high speed, stealth capability and endurance, the CH-7 can conduct many missions under dangerous conditions, including reconnaissance, surveillance, combat support, launching missiles or guiding other weapons to strike high-value targets, Shi said.

The CH7 is 10 metres long and has a wingspan of 22-metres. It has a maximum take-off weight of 13,000 kg, with a cruise altitude of 10-13 kilometres, a cruising speed of 0.5-0.6 of a Mach, and can stay in flight for 15 hours, the China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics said in a statement to the paper.

"The CH7 can intercept radar electronic signals, and simultaneously detect, verify and monitor high-value targets, such as hostile command stations, missile launch sites and naval vessels," Shi said.

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