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Air Platforms

DSA 2016: China details CH-901 UAV and loitering munition

19 April 2016
A side profile of the CH-901, which weighs 9kg and has an operating range of 15 km. Source: RD Fisher

China's Poly Defense has provided details about its CH-901 man-portable tube launched unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and loitering munition, similar in concept to the US AeroVironment Switchblade.

The CH-901 designation likely means it is a product of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).

A Poly official said it has been in development for "several years" and that both versions have been acquired by China's People's Liberation Army. This official added that while "several friendly countries" have shown interest, there have been no foreign sales so far.

One operating system weighs 45 kg and consists of three UAVs, one launch tube and a laptop computer control system. It is man-portable or can be carried by a small SUV.

The 1.2 m length aircraft weighs 9 kg, flies at a speed of 150 km/hr and has an operating radius of 15 km or a search endurance of 120 minutes.

Its small search and tracking camera is able to detect targets out to 2 km. The electric motor is credited with "low noise" that helps concealment. The aircraft has a life span of 20 sorties or 10 years.

Poly officials declined to provide details about the warhead of the loitering munition version.

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