Is the Original Better than the Duplicate?

A MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle prepares to land after a mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. The Reaper has the ability to carry both precision-guided bombs and air-to-ground missiles. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson)

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Jordan is selling off its fleet of CH-4B “Rainbow” drones after owning them for just two years as it is reportedly not happy with the drones’ performance, according to

The Royal Jordanian Army and Air Force (RJAF) is attempting to sell a total of 29 aircraft, including six recently delivered Rainbow CH-4B UAVs built by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). The aircraft for sale include: two Airbus C-295 transport aircraft; two CASA/IPTN CN-235 transport aircraft; one Lockheed C-130B transport aircraft; 12 BAE Systems Hawk jet trainers; six CH-4B UAVs; and six MD Helicopters MD 530 light helicopters.

Although many of the aircraft are well worn, Jordan’s six CH-4B UAVs were reportedly delivered about two years ago. The Royal Jordanian Air Force declined to go into specifics as to why the CH-4B is let down, but simply said it was downsizing and removing several types of aircraft from its fleet.

The CH-4B is a mixed attack and reconnaissance system with provisions for 6 weapons and a payload of up to 250 to 345 kg. CASC has been accused of copying the design of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems’ MQ-9 Reaper UAV, due to the CH-4B’s close resemblance. Nonetheless, many countries in the Middle East have chosen to buy what critics call “knock-off” Chinese UAVs because the Missile Technology Control Regime restricts the USA to exporting its large, fast-moving UAVs to only its closest allies, as reported by