China Completing Development of CH-7 Stealth UCAV

China’s
Cai
Hong
7
(Rainbow
7,
or
CH-7)
stealth
unmanned
combat
aerial
vehicle 
has
completed
testing
and
is
on
schedule
to
conclude
development
in
2024,
according
to
Chinese
state-owned
media.

Developed
by
China
Aerospace
Science
and
Technology
Corporation
(CASC)
and
powered
by
an
undetermined
turbofan
engine,
the
CH-7
is
a
high-altitude
UCAV
being
developed
as
a
deep
penetration
platform.
The
UCAV’s
central
role
will
be
to
breach
an
adversary’s
defended
airspace
to
strike
strategic
targets,
Janes
assesses.

According
to
the
state-owned
newspaper,
Global
Times
,
the
CH-7
was
subject
to
new
design
features
to
“further
enhance
[the
UCAV’s]
effectiveness
in
information-based
combat
in
modern
warfare”.
The
UCAV
manufacturer,
Aerospace
Rainbow
UAV
Co,
Ltd,
told
the
newspaper
that
the
testing
programme
had
verified
the
UCAV’s
performance
and
the
“effectiveness
of
its
airframe
structural
design”.

The
UCAV
“has
completed
tests,
and
its
development
is
scheduled
to
finish
[in
2024]”,
the
newspaper
said.

The
UCAV
has
been
the
subject
of
design
changes
over
the
course
of
the
programme.
The
UCAV
made
its
debut
during
Airshow
China
2018
at
Zhuhai.
At
the
time,
the
aircraft
closely
resembled
the
Northrop
Grumman
X-47B,
but
with
canted
wingtips
instead
of
the
triangular
wingtip
edges
of
the
US
aircraft.

When
a
model
of
the
CH-7
was
shown
four
years
later
at
Airshow
China
2022,
it
had
redesigned
wing
flaps,
sharper
canted
wingtips,
and
a
longer
central
engine
nacelle.
The
wingspan
was
also
increased
from
22
m
in
the
2018
model
to
26
m
in
the
latest
iteration,
according
to
state-owned
media.

Source:

Janes