New Iraqi CH-4B Drones now in Operation from Kut Airbase
CH-4B Drones specs;
Maximum takeoff weight 1,330-1,350kg
Fuel capacity 165kg
Speed (cruising) 150-180km/h; (maximum) 210-235km/h;
Range 200-250km Endurance 30 hours (unarmed) 14 hours (armed)
Service ceiling 7,500m
Armament CH-4 : Four external hard points (under the wings); Lan Jian 7 (Blue Arrow 7) laser-guided air-to-surface missiles; LT series precision guided bombs; TG100 laser/INS/GPS-guided bomb.
Why CH-4B Drone Is Scary
1. A manned fighter is large.
An unmanned drone is much smaller and harder to detect with the naked eye.
2. Manned fighters are turbofan powered. This is necessary to avoid ground-based fire and MANPADS.
An unmanned CH-4B drone is propeller-powered. The loiter time of a CH-4B is dramatically longer than a manned fighter.
3. Without a manned pilot, an unmanned CH-4B won't get tired. It's easy to swap out unmanned pilots at the drone-control station.
4. Without a manned pilot, an unmanned drone is more likely to be deployed in dangerous battlefield situations. No one really cares if a drone is shot down. Just go buy another one.
They are only about $1 million each.
5. The CH-4B drone control station has high-resolution wide screens.
The American Predator has smaller square screens with a more constrained view.