Military Review

Heavy drones of China. Development and prospects

32
Heavy drones of China. Development and prospects

CH-3 is the first UAV of the Tsaihun series. Photo Globalsecurity.org


China is actively engaged in the design and development of unmanned aerial vehicles. In the interests of the armed forces, new models of all major classes are being created. In recent years, UAVs of a heavy class with high flight performance, capable of reconnaissance and strike, have become widespread. The development of this area continues and new remarkable results are expected.

Work in progress


At present, the PRC is one of the world leaders in the field of UAV construction. Hundreds of models and modifications of such civilian and military equipment have been developed and offered to customers. A number of drones of all main classes, including heavy ones, have been adopted by the various branches of the PLA.


Serial CH-4B from the Algerian Air Force. Photo Wikimedia Commons

According to known data, UAVs of medium and heavy class entered service with the Air Force, army aviation, fleet, marines, etc. It is reported about the operation of at least dozens of unmanned systems of various types. At the same time, different types of troops can use the same equipment or receive vehicles of different types - in accordance with the specifics of their tasks and working conditions.

Different approaches are used in the development of unmanned vehicles. New independent projects are being developed. In parallel, the development of several families of equipment is being carried out, providing for the consistent modernization of finished samples. In addition, research is underway aimed at creating a fundamentally new technology.

Unmanned "Rainbow"


An interesting example of the consistent development of technology and technology is the Caihun (Rainbow) UAV family from China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). Development of the first prototype of this line, CH-1, began in 2000; its goal was to create a medium UAV reconnaissance UAV. Later, the size and weight of the Tsaihun drones grew, and the range of tasks to be solved expanded. Recent projects from CASC use fundamentally new ideas.


Model of the "flying wing" CH-7. Photo Globalsecurity.org

At the moment, the most advanced serial "rainbow" UAV is the CH-4 product. This is a UAV with a take-off weight of 1,3 tons and a payload of 350 kg, with a wingspan of 18 m. The flight duration is 40 hours. The CH-4A modification carries only optoelectronic reconnaissance equipment, and the CH-4B project provides for six pylons for weapons... CH-4 is in service with the PLA and supplied to third countries. This technique has already been used in local conflicts. By further improving the design, the CH-5 UAV was created with a payload of 1 ton, capable of flying up to 60 hours.

In 2021-22. the appearance of serial CH-7 UAVs is expected. Unlike its predecessors, it will be an inconspicuous "flying wing" with an internal weapons compartment. It is expected that such a device will develop a high subsonic speed and remain in the air for up to 12-15 hours. In other projects of the Tsaihun family, the use of a tiltrotor scheme, double-girder architecture, etc. is envisaged.


UAV Wing Loong I. Photo Robotrends.ru

Different models of the "CH" line entered service in 14 foreign countries. UAVs CH-4A / B are the most popular among customers. Depending on their needs, foreign armies ordered equipment of one or another modification. Probably, the promising CH-7 of a fundamentally new look will also not be ignored - if it is offered to foreign customers.

Unmanned "Pterodactyls"


The Winglun series projects, also known as Chengdu Pterodactyl, are of great importance to the PLA Air Force and other countries. The projects of this line have been developed by the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group since 2005. In 2009, the Pterodactyl I product was first flown, and in 2011 it was adopted by the Chinese army.

All versions of the Vinlun are built on a normal aerodynamic configuration with a straight wing and V-shaped tail. The first UAV of the family had a wing span of 14 m and weighed 1,1 tons. The payload was 200 kg. On the basis of the first car of the line, five modifications were created with one or another peculiarity. The differences were related to the composition of the onboard equipment, control principles, the ability to carry weapons, etc. Later projects of the line provide for communication via satellite and have the function of autonomous target identification, followed by an attack at the command of the operator.


"Vinluns" at the exhibition. Ahead is the UAV of the second model, behind it is the base product. Photo Wikimedia Commons

In 2017, the Winglun II UAV was adopted. It is larger and heavier (takeoff weight 4,2 tonnes) and also carries a large payload. Provides for the installation of surveillance and sighting radar, complementing the optics. The number of pylons for weapons has been increased to 12. The main functions and capabilities in general remain the same.

UAV "Vinlun I" of various modifications were adopted by the PLA and eight foreign armies. Newer Winglun IIs were purchased by six foreign countries. In total, several hundred UAVs of all versions were built.

Program "601-S"


In the context of heavy UAVs and their development paths, the 601-S program is of particular interest. It is managed by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) in collaboration with other research and development organizations. The goal of the program is to find solutions for creating the UAV of the future. First of all, technologies for reducing visibility are being worked out. Also aware of searches in other areas.


Experimental UAV "Lijian". Photo Robotrends.ru

The experimental project "Tiannu" ("Heavenly Crossbow") provided for the construction of a "flying wing" with a span of more than 2 m and a pair of keels. With its help, the controllability of such a UAV was checked in the main modes. Then the Fenzheng and Yungong vehicles with different controls were tested. It was reported about the development of a "flying wing" swept back.

Approximately in 2013-14. full-size UAVs "Lijian" and "Anjian" were tested. The details of these works, for obvious reasons, were not disclosed. It is believed that the developments on the latest projects of the 601-S series can be used right now to create real reconnaissance and / or strike drones. Any new unmanned "flying wing" Chinese design can be expected to be related to the experiences of AVIC and its allies.

Development continues


By studying foreign developments and creating their own projects, the PRC was able to reduce the gap with foreign countries in the field of unmanned aerial vehicles over several decades. Moreover, they even managed to enter a narrow circle of leaders who possess all the key technologies and continue their development.


Experienced "Anjian" and its creators. Photo Globalsecurity.org

The efforts of different organizations and enterprises create both individual projects and entire families based on common ideas and solutions. At the same time, there are both projects for subsequent implementation and exclusively experimental developments. Judging by the known data, the latter allowed creating the groundwork for several important breakthroughs. They will probably be implemented in the coming years.

It is curious that the results of scientific and technical activities are used not only to modernize their armed forces. Having developed a lot of new projects of various kinds, China gets the opportunity to enter the international market and successfully compete with other leading countries in terms of the number of equipment sold.

In general, the development of the UAV direction in China is of great interest. The Chinese industry was able to concentrate efforts in a limited time, master and develop new technologies for itself, and also take leadership positions. Obviously, such processes will not stop. The result of this will be the strengthening of the existing unmanned "air fleet" of the PLA and other armies, as well as the emergence of new models of equipment with one or another curious features.
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  1. Hypatius
    Hypatius 8 December 2020 18: 17
    +5
    Well, in Russia they are also engaged in unmanned aerial vehicles. Nadys, the Turks caught two NTV-shniks for filming in the restricted area of ​​the Baikatars production. It is true, why waste your time on trifles. Rogozin said he would make the station larger than Mir and the ISS combined. Well, if he doesn’t, then he will master the money for sure more than for the ISS with Mir. laughing
    1. faiver
      faiver 8 December 2020 18: 20
      +2
      Well, about money, that's for sure ...
      1. Hypatius
        Hypatius 8 December 2020 18: 23
        +2
        Rogozin, take an example from the Indians:

        Delivery of the first Indian satellite to the cosmodrome. It took off, worked and paid off.
    2. Nikolaevich I
      Nikolaevich I 8 December 2020 18: 57
      +1
      Quote: Hypatius
      and in Russia they are engaged in unmanned vehicles

      And they will do it for a long time ... instead of producing? Well, okay ... finally doing ... finally developing ... finally producing! When it will be? But, after all, it takes time to organize, master, gain experience (that is, to fill "bumps" ...) and other things like that ... Maybe he might think about ... or take on temporary arms "some" UAV (even if it is domestically produced ...) or buy from someone (for example, from China ... Turkey ...) ... Temporarily! wink
      1. Hypatius
        Hypatius 8 December 2020 19: 01
        -1
        And they will do it for a long time ... instead of producing? Well, ok ... finally doing ... finally
        You may have misunderstood. And I, just under the guise of sarcasm, so voiced two news from the last. Rogozin's plans and the detention of two journalists who now face a term of 5 to 15.
        1. ultra
          ultra 8 December 2020 19: 05
          0
          They, the ntvshniks, did not shoot in any restricted area. They have already returned home.
        2. Nikolaevich I
          Nikolaevich I 8 December 2020 19: 43
          +3
          Yes, what sarcasm is there when they say in complete surrender that Russia lags behind in the "UAV sphere" by 25 years! 25 or less, but perhaps you still have to agree that it lags behind! And we do not know when the Russian Armed Forces will be "saturated" with domestic UAVs that "do not have an analogue world"! I said what I wanted to say, especially without going into the "true" meaning of your comment! Well, the "moment" will come when Russian drones will appear in sufficient quantity and the required "quality"! But it also takes time to work out the organizational structure, tactics of use, the ratio of vehicles for different purposes ... It will be easier, faster to do .if "temporary" UAVs are in service!
      2. OgnennyiKotik
        OgnennyiKotik 8 December 2020 19: 07
        -2
        Quote: Nikolaevich I
        or buy from someone (for example, from China ... Turkey ...) ... Temporarily!

        So we are already buying from Israel.
        1. Nikolaevich I
          Nikolaevich I 8 December 2020 19: 45
          +1
          Quote: OgnennyiKotik
          So we are already buying from Israel.

          Well, in Israel, "light like a wedge" did not converge!
    3. Civil
      Civil 9 December 2020 09: 31
      -1
      The communists of the PRC are reasonably in no hurry to sell their UAVs to Moscow. There is no guarantee that information about the level and essence of developments will not go to the West.
  2. faiver
    faiver 8 December 2020 18: 21
    +7
    The Chinese are great, they are pushing forward like a tank in virtually all directions ...
    1. Doccor18
      Doccor18 8 December 2020 19: 31
      +1
      The dragon woke up, but why did the democrats "wake up and feed him" ..?
      Now, as if this "ditetko" did not eat its sponsors ...
      1. faiver
        faiver 8 December 2020 19: 44
        +1
        let him gobble it up, raised against Russia, and it turned out like that
        1. Doccor18
          Doccor18 8 December 2020 19: 47
          0
          Yes, if he ate it, but he stopped ...
          otherwise we are close ...
          1. faiver
            faiver 8 December 2020 19: 53
            +1
            well, China will have to be included in the Russian Federation as another federal district ...
            1. Doccor18
              Doccor18 8 December 2020 19: 56
              +2
              It's possible good
              We will raise the economy and correct the demography, and we will get Xi, and corrupt officials against the wall ... here we will live ...
        2. Lesorub
          Lesorub 8 December 2020 21: 14
          +2
          Quote: faiver
          let him gobble it up, raised against Russia, and it turned out like that

          How did it turn out ??
  3. _Ugene_
    _Ugene_ 8 December 2020 20: 09
    0
    Why don't we, following the example of China, buy an advanced drummer from China and copy, and build on from it to develop further? pride does not allow or will not sell modern? it really should have been done 15 years ago
    1. faiver
      faiver 8 December 2020 20: 12
      0
      We can buy a drummer, but copying is a big question ...
    2. Lesorub
      Lesorub 8 December 2020 21: 19
      +5
      Quote: _Ugene_
      Why don't we, following the example of China, buy an advanced drummer from China and copy, and build on from it to develop further? pride does not allow or will not sell modern? it really should have been done 15 years ago

      We can create UAVs ourselves, the scientific and production potential is colossal - there is no will of the leadership, the desire of the military - it seems that the military has its own little Chubais.
  4. KVU-NSVD
    KVU-NSVD 8 December 2020 20: 23
    +2
    It's a shame, guys, for domestic large UAVs, and if you follow the logic, then for domestic satellite channels for transmitting information.
    1. faiver
      faiver 8 December 2020 21: 18
      0
      yes a lot of that ashamed ...
  5. 113262a
    113262a 8 December 2020 20: 58
    +1
    https://static.wixstatic.com/media/8e610e_b368086d002d4a769ca3da84e6807051~mv2.jpg/v1/fill/w_600,h_398,al_c,q_80,usm_0.66_1.00_0.01/8e610e_b368086d002d4a769ca3da84e6807051~mv2.jpg
    Here is the CH-3 car - the first UAV of the Tsaihun series. - straight, well, the spitting image of a duck-plane Bertha Rutana, it seems Variese was called! And then, continuous copy-paste and distortion!))) On the other hand, who doesn't give us?
    1. Profiler
      Profiler 17 February 2021 07: 22
      +2
      Quote: 113262
      Here is the CH-3 car - the first UAV of the Tsaihun series. - straight, well, the spitting image of a duck-plane Bertha Rutana, it seems Variese was called! And then, continuous copy-paste and distortion!))) On the other hand, who doesn't give us?


      We also have our own developments, so copy alien not required.

      The MiG-8 aircraft, was developed at OKB-155 Mikoyan, Gurevich

      First flight: 1945







      1. 113262a
        113262a 17 February 2021 12: 52
        0
        It's a solid wood construction, a PO-2 motor, and it's GREAT! Rutan has pneoplast and fiberglass!
        1. Profiler
          Profiler 17 February 2021 15: 34
          +1
          Quote: 113262
          It's a solid wood construction, a PO-2 motor, and it's GREAT! Rutan has pneoplast and fiberglass!

          Well, excuse me, in 1945, MiG had neither expanded polystyrene nor fiberglass at its disposal request

          But should it be about this, and not about SCHOOL, WORK?
  6. Zaurbek
    Zaurbek 10 December 2020 08: 38
    0
    Yes, they will flood the sea with Stealth - shock drones and will be able to paralyze all military activity at sea for the USA, Australia, Japan.
  7. 501Legion
    501Legion 12 December 2020 08: 56
    0
    you look at the appearance, and you have already seen absolutely everything.
    They are like Losers who write off and you tell them "paraphrase" and in the end they write off everything verbatim
  8. Alexander Koshkin
    Alexander Koshkin 9 January 2021 20: 53
    0
    While they were catching up with America, China went far ahead. Looking at the disappearing China, suddenly, they found themselves in front of the bloomed Turkey?!? And Indonesia and South Africa are already breathing in the back of the head !!! Probably none of them watches our all-conquering cartoons ...
  9. Klingon
    Klingon 30 January 2021 01: 56
    0
    Quote: 501Legion
    you look at the appearance, and you have already seen absolutely everything.
    They are like Losers who write off and you tell them "paraphrase" and in the end they write off everything verbatim

    They write it off, but we can't even write it off, - there is no dough either on paper or ballpoint pens, that's why we still "scratch the parchment with a pen" wassat
  10. aries2200
    aries2200 23 February 2021 02: 16
    0
    This fight against the cybernetics of the corn beetle .. we are already 70 years old at a high price and it looks like it will continue to be so ... no investments will help ... there is no engineering elite in the field of microelectronics .. Elbrus is a fake .. . terribly lagging behind and the light in the tunnel is not visible sadly .. thanks to Fursenko and Livanov, -that finished off classical science in RUSSIA
  11. Alex_K
    Alex_K 5 March 2021 09: 10
    0
    And what prevents us from purchasing Chinese UAVs? The Chinese do not hesitate to buy equipment from us that they do not know how to do yet. They buy, tyryat technologies, saving a lot of money on this, then they begin to use them in business. Moreover, it is not necessary to buy, you can change it. Offer the goods that the Chinese will take while available. But this is for now. We must take, study and implement. Our "yourself with a mustache" only leads to a lag, the further the more. And this can already be seen even by ordinary people like us, sofa experts.