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Iraqi Army Aviation Command identifies itself as CH-5 UAV operator

A still from a video released on 21 April shows the Iraqi Army Aviation Command stand at IQDEX in Baghdad. (Iraqi Ministry of Defence)

Iraqi Army Aviation Command (IAAC) has confirmed it has ordered, if not already received, Chinese-made CH-5 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

The command's stand at the International Defense Exhibition in Iraq (IQDEX) held in Baghdad from 20 to 23 April was decorated with posters that showed all the aircraft it has in service, which included the CH-5 next to the CH-4 UAV operated by its 100 Squadron.

Earlier reports that Iraq had acquired CH-5s were based on a photograph that circulated on social media in September 2023 showing a man holding a certificate in front of a projected image that identified the event as the “closing ceremony for CH-5 training” above Iraqi and Chinese flags.

A second photograph purportedly of the certificate showed it was for the successful completion of the CH-5 theoretical, practical, and flight training courses. While the graduate's name was obscured, it had stamps from the Iraqi military attaché office in China as well as the Chinese companies Poly Technologies and CH UAV Science and Technology Company.

The CH-5 is usually promoted by ALIT at defence exhibitions, but the CH series was displayed on the Poly Technologies stand at this year's IQDEX, including a model labelled as the CH-5W (CH-9). The CH-5 and the CH-9 have been previously presented as different models.

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