Chinese UAV & UCAV development


Totoro

Major
VIP Professional
That's one mother of a plane. With 7800 kg MTOW it's in class of the WZ-7 Soaring Dragon (or was it WZ-9?), weight wise. With 12 km ceiling it probably trails behind WZ-7 in altitude.
I guess there still might be some merit for PLA to operate both types though, if CH-6 is cheap enough. Not sure about its strike capability against peer opponents, though. Still, I'd say it may have bigger chances of finding most of its market as an export product.
 

siegecrossbow

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Seems that endurance is still the biggest hurdle with this drone. Only 8 hours of flight time when loaded for strike.
 

Totoro

Major
VIP Professional
Of course it is going to have much less loiter time when laden with weapons. 2 tons of weapons is A LOT.
Its two small diameter jet engines are not really an optimal way to achieve great endurance anyway. It looks to me that was just the manufacturer working with what they had.

Certainly, comparing this drone with some smaller drones that cruise at 200 km/h or so for 20+ hours with a few hellfire missiles isn't really fair.
 

Totoro

Major
VIP Professional
A single, large, modern turboprop would be optimal, from endurance standpoint. Though it may lack in cruise speed and altitude, compared to a turbofan/turbojet. IF those two are priorities, then it's to be expected a turboprop was not chosen.

A single, large, modern turbofan would be the following engine of choice. But for some reason, the maker chose to go with two smaller engines. Possibly because those were readily and cheaply available, and other solutions would have required lengthy and pricy development. The fact the engines are fairly long and not wide also points out to the possibility those are turbojets and not turbofans. Which would again not be as good as having two turbofans, fuel consumption wise.
 

by78

Lieutenant General
CH-817 Micro UCAV:
- Weight: 850g
- Max speed: 18m/s
- Endurance: 15min
- Co-axial rotor, VTOL capability
- Intended targets are armed individuals (i.e. soldiers, terrorists)
- Built-in obstacle avoidance
- Can be deployed by individual soldiers or larger UAVs
- Capable of cooperative swarm tactics. A CH-817 swarm can be deployed by a larger UAV. A swarm can then conduct wide area surveillance and precision strikes against individual targets.

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