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China is aiming to win export contracts for UAVs in Middle-East and African countries. Nanyang Technology is acquiring the Caihong (Rainbow) series of UAVs from China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). The company will also gain rights to build two types of air-to-ground missiles, as reported on defenseworld.net.
The chinese development is remarkably similar in appearance to General Atomics’ MQ-9 Reaper UAV.
CASC said there are currently 10-20 users. The company says it sells primarily to poor and middle-income developing countries. U.S.-made UAVs are subject to strict export controls, but Chinese systems are not. Many of these countries have been refused UAVs from the United States.
According to middleeasteye.net, while a US Reaper costs up to $30m each, some armed Chinese drones sell for as little as $1m.
Chinese UAVs are already active in Iraq, Yemen, Egypt, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.