Game of Drones: CH-7 the new military chinese drone
China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) have taken the opportunity at the 2018 China Air Show exhibition to present a new-generation stealth unmanned combat aircraft. CASC plans to unveil its new stealth unmanned combat aircraft CH-7 during the 2018 China Airshow exhibition, which starts today in Zhuhai and runs until November 11. According to CASC officials, the new CH-7 is an unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, but some experts say it is a new unmanned aerial combat system is designed for stealth or low observable relevant requirements. According to the preliminary data it will have a wingspan of 20m and a cruising altitude of 10,000 to 13,000m. CH-7 will can to conduct last reconnaissance, guard detection, air defense operation, and operation support, including the ability to hit high-value targets through the use of precision combat devices.
It is not known if the model presented in the exhibition will be a mockup or a prototype in operation, the fact is that several western media have gone out to question this development suggesting that the chinese unmanned aircraft is a sort of copy of the famous Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel, one of whose models was captured by Iran in 2011 and then inspected using reverse engineering. The same western media will ensure that there is information circulating in the China Defense forums that a group of 17 Chinese experts flew to Iran 4 days after the Sentinel drone had been captured in Iran during an espionage mission, not only to inspect but also to collect and bring back to China some key components of the RQ-170. While it is extremely likely that China has had the opportunity to inspect the drone and copy the circuits, lenses and sensors of the RQ-170, the shape of the model displayed in Zhuhai appears to be more similar to the unmanned aerial vehicle Northrop Grumman Demonstrator (UCAS-D) of the X-47B program than the Lockheed Martin RQ-170.
Other experts have also pointed including slightly different intake, nose section, and landing gear. The front nose gear bay door reminds the one of another quite famous Northrop Grumman stealth aircraft: the B-2 Spirit bomber, some analysts have gone a little further and branded it as a direct clone of the US model, in which we consider that this type of articles in a derogatory tone are something lamentably normal in the industry, since they should remember that the engineering solutions are always similar to face similar problems, and that the copy of models or aerodynamic solutions have been a constant throughout history, suffice it to recall that Mc Donell Douglas F-15 combat aircraft has its origin in the Mikoyan Gurevich Mig 25 combat aircraft, or that the American F-35 it is a direct development of the Russian Yakolev Yak-141 of which the EE.UU acquired the design plans. What the CH-7 does show is that China has put itself on par or surpassed the western models of military drones.