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CASC CH-3 Rainbow

Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV)

China | 2012

"The CASC CH-3 is just one in a series of UAVs found under the Rainbow name produced by Chinese industry."

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the CASC CH-3 Rainbow Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV).
1 x Conventional engine driving three-bladed propelled in pusher arrangement.
1,491 miles
2,400 km | 1,296 nm
Operational Range
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the CASC CH-3 Rainbow Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV).
23.0 ft
7.00 m
O/A Length
26.2 ft
(8.00 m)
O/A Width
6.6 ft
(2.00 m)
O/A Height
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the CASC CH-3 Rainbow Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) .
Two underwing hardpoints for the carrying of guided-missile ordnance. Mission payload of up 60 to 100 kilograms (model dependent - see variants listing).
Notable series variants as part of the CASC CH-3 Rainbow family line.
CH-3 "Rainbow" - Base Series Designation; initial production model.
CH-3A - Increased mission payload; reduced endurance.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 11/18/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

The CH-3 is armed version of the unarmed CH-1/CH-2 drone series. All of the products come from China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) and are part of the CASC "Rainbow" line of UAVs that began with the CH-1 and has since evolved into the CH-901 model. The series has found some global takers to date (2015) and provides modern tactical over-battlefield capabilities at a much reduced cost when compared to contemporary Western UAV products.

Externally, the CH-3 carries swept-back wing mainplanes along a streamlined fuselage that sports forward canards for additional stability and control. The mainplanes showcase large vertical fins ("winglets") at their tips and sport a single hardpoint each for the carrying and delivery of guided-missile ordnance. The undercarriage is wheeled, though fixed, under the aircraft's mass. At the rear of the fuselage is the engine installation which drives a three-bladed propeller unit in a "pusher" arrangement. Specifications include a wingspan of 8 meters while performance displays a 12-hour endurance window with a payload maximum of 80 kilograms. Range is 2,400 kilometers.

The Nigerian and Pakistani armies are confirmed operators of the CH-3 series. CH-3 designates early models while the CH-3A is a follow-up product which increases the line's mission payload (up to 180 kilograms maximum) while reducing the endurance window by half to six hours. This model also features a satellite data link as standard.

In October 2015, the Iraqi government released footage of a CASC Rainbow UAV being deployed operationally - proving its existence within the Iraqi military inventory and showcasing a new willingness by the government to expand beyond its purchases of American-made equipment.

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November 2020 - Nigeria is set to receive a pair of CH-3 UAVs from China.

Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the CASC CH-3 Rainbow. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 500 Units

Contractor(s): China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) - China
National flag of Algeria National flag of Iraq National flag of Nigeria National flag of Pakistan

[ Algeria; Iraq; Nigeria; Pakistan ]
Going Further...
The CASC CH-3 Rainbow Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) appears in the following collections:
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