The CH-901 from CASC of China is an all-in-one "loitering munitions" solution, an unmanned drone aircraft designed to be expendable and carrying the warhead as part of its payload. Loitering munition options are increasing for global operators today with evolutions in the field being seen in the United States, Israel, and China. The CH-901 stems from a long line of unmanned aircraft systems available from CASC and includes the CH-7 stealth Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV), CH-92 fixed-wing UAV, and CH-802 Micro Air Vehicle (MAV).
The CH-901 is a relatively compact Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) driven by a two-bladed propeller unit fitted to its base ("pusher" arrangement). Its primary purpose is that of ground target neutralization and individual CH-901 units can be massed for "swarming" actions on said targets.
As with other loitering munitions, the CH-901 features a tube, missile-shaped body with spring-loaded fins which come into play during the post-launch action for stability during flight. The entire system is launched from a basic tube, making it extremely compact and available to squad-level operators. A heavy-duty portable unit, featuring a folding screen, applicable controls, and a direct video feed, provide the ground operator with the needed data to successfully execute an attack.
The CH-901 can be deployed by squad-level operators or launched from "mothership" aircraft en mass (the latter adding increased operational ranges), swarming ground targets with relative impunity. The series has also been showcased by China in tests where CH-901 UAVs are launched from a 48-tube launcher unit fitted on a vehicle (as a mobile ground-based solution) - successfully swarming a target.
Beyond its obvious attack value, the onboard optics set of the CH-901 allows it to function as a traditional Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR) drone. Its capabilities are such that it can also be used to swarm aerial targets.
(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.
20 lb (9 kg)
20 lb (9 kg)
+0 lb (+0 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base CASC CH-901 production variant)
1 x Electric motor of unknown make, model, and output power driving two-bladed propeller unit at end of fuselage in pusher arrangement.
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