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CASC CH-5 Rainbow

Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV)

The CASC CH-5 Rainbow is a newer, more potent, attack addition to the existing Rainbow UAV line to emerge from China.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 1/2/2018
The CASC CH-5 Rainbow is one of the newer additions to the indigenous Chinese Rainbow line of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The type has been developed for the Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) meaning it can carry (and deliver with a level of precision) munitions of various types. The CH-5 more or less follows the American MQ-9 Reaper UCAV in both its form and function.

The aircraft exhibits a straight wing mainplane configuration and seats its conventional turbocharged piston-driven engine (of about 450 horsepower output) at the rear of the fuselage driving a multi-bladed propeller unit in "pusher" fashion. The vehicle is fully integrated into the existing CH-3 and CH-4 framework due to a shared data link infrastructure. The CH-5 has a reported mission endurance window of up to sixty hours, can fly at alttiudes nearing 30,000 feet and can carry a mission payload up to 2,205lb. The structure includes a wingspan of 68.8 feet and a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of 6,000lb.

Planned future revisions to the series will include extended loitering times, improved operational ranges and broadened support for more potent munitions options.

Saudi industry is making plans to produce the CH-5 locally for the Royal Saudi Air Force.


Active, In-Service
[ 50 Units ] :
China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) - China
National flag of China National flag of Saudi Arabia China; Saudi Arabia
- Ground Attack
- Close-Air Support (CAS)
- Reconnaissance (RECCE)
- Unmanned
36.75 ft (11.2 m)
68.90 ft (21 m)
12.47 ft (3.8 m)
(Showcased structural dimension values pertain to the CASC CH-5 Rainbow production model)
Empty Weight:
4,905 lb (2,225 kg)
5,997 lb (2,720 kg)
(Diff: +1,091lb)
(Showcased weight values pertain to the CASC CH-5 Rainbow production model)
1 x Turbocharged conventional engine driving a multi-bladed propeller unit at the rear of the fuselage in pusher arrangement.
(Showcased powerplant information pertains to the CASC CH-5 Rainbow production model)
Maximum Speed:
298 mph (480 kph; 259 kts)
Service Ceiling:
29,528 feet (9,000 m; 5.59 miles)
Maximum Range:
6,214 miles (10,000 km; 5,400 nm)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the CASC CH-5 Rainbow production model; Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database)
Variable: Precision-guided drop and air-launched munitions to include bombs and missiles. Mission payload of up to 2,205lb.
(Showcased armament details pertain to the CASC CH-5 Rainbow production model)
CH-5 - Base Series Designation

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