China's domestically-produced unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) Caihong 4 (CH-4) recently completed a six-day live-fire test with various ammunition.
The tested CH-4 is an upgraded version of the model which was first produced in 2015. This was the first time that the UAV conducted a highly concentrated live-fire test carrying multiple kinds of ammunition, with functions covering both extensive bombing and precise targeting, according to the Global Times.
"The capacity and variety of its ordnance payload indicate the CH-4 can conduct effective air strikes on more targets, from longer distances with faster reaction, which lays the foundation for future models and their aligned ordnance payloads," said the People's Daily.
Moreover, the upgraded CH-4 adapts better to various weather conditions, including extreme weather, and is equipped with an all-new data network that integrates air-ground data collection and distribution.
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, an industry leader, and is more competent in reconnaissance, surveillance, and strike missions.
However, the CH-4 is not limited to military use. It has civilian functions such as geological surveying, ocean monitoring, meteorological observation and forest fire prevention.
In the next stage, the CASC will be working on joint flight using both CH-3 and CH-4, with the aim to achieve team formation, intelligence sharing, distribution and processing between the two models.
In recent years, China's drone market has flourished and is seeking to push technological innovation to a higher level. The Wing Loong II unmanned aerial system (UAS), developed by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China, created a record of five hits in succession with five kinds of missiles last year. The latest model, the Wing Loong ID, is due to go on the market this year.