China's CH-6 armed reconnaissance UAV development breaks cover

by Kelvin Wong

Chinese defence prime China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) is developing a new medium/high-altitude, long-endurance (MALE/HALE) armed reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) called the CH-6 (Cai Hong 6, or Rainbow-6), industry sources have confirmed with Janes.

A commemorative model of the yet unannounced CH-6 UAV was observed in a 19 April posting by CASC’s China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics – also known as the 11th Academy – on its official Wechat account, in which CAAA president Hu Meixiao and secretary Wang Xianyu were seen presenting the model to Hunan Provincial Committee secretary and Hunan Provincial People’s Congress Standing Committee director Xu Dazhe during an official visit to the provincial capital of Changsha on 16 March.

A model of the in-development CH-6 armed reconnaissance UAV being presented to Hunan Provincial Committee secretary and Hunan Provincial People’s Congress Standing Committee director Xu Dazhe by CAAA president Hu Meixiao and secretary Wang Xianyu on 16 March.  (China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics)

A model of the in-development CH-6 armed reconnaissance UAV being presented to Hunan Provincial Committee secretary and Hunan Provincial People’s Congress Standing Committee director Xu Dazhe by CAAA president Hu Meixiao and secretary Wang Xianyu on 16 March. (China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics)

Visual analysis of the CH-6 design depicted by the model clearly shows that CAAA engineers have implemented an unconventional approach to its airframe design. Unlike the typical air vehicles of its class, which generally feature a low wing monoplane and slender cylindrical fuselage configuration with a V-tail empennage, the CH-6 adopts a visibly wider fuselage with a prominently chined forebody with a pair of sharp edges leading aft from either side of the nose along the fuselage and blending into a robust centre wing box. An electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) ball turret is also seen affixed to the underside of the nose.

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/chinas-ch-6-armed-reconnaissance-uav-development-breaks-cover

Chinese defence prime China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) is developing a new ...

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