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China has exported numerous drones to countries across the Middle East, presenting them as comparable to US products with less restrictions and for a lower price. The country’s new combat drone, the CH-5 has been revealed recently. It is the successor of the CH-4, which many call the “AK-47 of drones” and has been deployed in the fight against the Islamic State.
The drone was developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. Resembling General Atomics’ MQ-9 Reaper drone, the developers claim the weapon is superior to its combat-tested American counterpart, which carries four Hellfire missiles and two 500-pound precision bombs. The Reaper is one of America’s top hunter-killer drones and a key weapon that can stalk and strike militants in the war on terror. But, while the CH-5 and the MQ-9 may look a lot alike, it’s technological similarity, not parity, according to businessinsider.com. The Reaper’s payload, for instance, is roughly double that of China’s CH-5. And, while China’s drone may excel in endurance, its American counterpart has a greater maximum take-off weight and a much higher service ceiling.
The sensors and communications equipment on the Chinese drone are also suspected to be inferior to those on the MQ-9, which last year achieved the ability to not only wipe out ground targets but eliminate air assets as well.