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.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Ground Attack (Bombing, Strafing)
Ability to conduct aerial bombing of ground targets by way of (but not limited to) guns, bombs, missiles, rockets, and the like.
✓Close-Air Support (CAS)
Developed to operate in close proximity to active ground elements by way of a broad array of air-to-ground ordnance and munitions options.
✓Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
Aircraft inherently designed (or later developed) with an unmanned capability to cover a variety of over-battlefield roles.
36.7 ft (11.20 m)
68.9 ft (21.00 m)
12.5 ft (3.80 m)
4,905 lb (2,225 kg)
5,997 lb (2,720 kg)
+1,091 lb (+495 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base CASC CH-5 Rainbow production variant)
1 x Turbocharged conventional engine driving a multi-bladed propeller unit at the rear of the fuselage in pusher arrangement.
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