China may be developing a new anti-ship weapon that combines technologies derived from developments in cruise missiles and ground-effect vehicles (GEVs).
An image of a brochure marketing the weapon, the latter of which is shown painted in blue Chinese navy camouflage, appeared on Chinese online forums in early May.
The brochure indicates that the weapon, referred to in the document as the 'ground-effect unmanned aerial vehicle [UAV]', carries a 'CH' designation, which is usually associated with the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation's Cai Hong (Rainbow) family of UAVs.
The brochure states that the new system has a maximum take-off weight of 3,000 kg, a maximum payload capacity of 1,000 kg, a maximum endurance of 1.5 h, a cruising altitude of 1-6 m and a service ceiling in excess of 3 km. No details were provided on the weapon's speed or range.
The document says that the weapon could be used to target large surface targets at sea, possibly via long-range, high-speed torpedo attacks.
The weapon system features "a heavy payload, strong strike capabilities, good stealth characteristics, and is highly survivable", according to the brochure.
It is not known whether the system has been adopted by the People's Liberation Army Navy or whether it is being offered for export.
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