China announced it is ready to mass produce the Cai Hong 5 (Rainbow 5, or CH-5,) a strike-capable, Reaper-like unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV,) according to Ou Zhongming, project manager at the Beijing-based China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics.
The CH-5 outperforms all other Chinese-drones when it comes to operational endurance and payload capacity, said Shi Wen, the CH series’ chief designer.
“Today’s [14 July] flight means the CH-5’s design has been finalised and we are ready to mass produce it,” said Zhongming, who works for China’s largest exporter of military UAVs.
Wen added that the CH-5 is a UAV “as good as the U.S.-made General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper: a hunter-killer drone often deemed by Western analysts as the best of its kind.”
The Cai Hong 5 was unveiled at Airshow China in November 2016, reported the China Daily newspaper. The CH-5 recently conducted its first flight from China’s northern Hebei province. A prototype was first flown in August 2015.