China’s CH-5 UAV Conducts Live-fire Trial With New Precision Weapon

China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) has successfully integrated and launched a new precision guided missile (PGM) on its Cai Hong 5 (Rainbow 5, or CH-5) strike-capable, medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (MALE UAV), Jane’s sources have confirmed.

The latest test was staged out of an undisclosed airport in the northwestern province of Gansu during the morning of 21 September, with CASC engineers successfully deploying a new 80 kg-class PGM – carrying a blast fragmentation warhead – via lock-on before launch (LOBL) targeting protocols from a production-model CH-5 at a launch altitude of 11,482 ft.

Further details of the new PGM were not disclosed, although it is understood that the latest effort also enabled engineers to further test and fine-tune the CH-5’s electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) payload as well as its weapons targeting and rail-mounted payload release mechanisms.

“We demonstrated the CH-5’s ability to win the initiative in any battlefield with its reconnaissance and strike ability, and our latest success exemplifies the maturity of our advanced products,” a company spokesperson told Jane’s .

Company sources also revealed to Jane’s that the 45 kg-class AR-1 semi-active laser (SAL) anti-armour missile was successfully integrated and certified for delivery aboard the CH-5 in August.


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