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Iraq Unveils Chinese-supplied MALE Drones

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Iraq Launches Its New Chinese CH-4B Drone

(Source: AeroHisto blog; posted October 10, 2015)

The CH-4B drone was publicly unveiled by the Iraqi defense ministry of Oct 10 at al-Kut air base. (Iraq MoD photo)

On Saturday morning of October 10th, 2015, Iraqi Defence Minister Mr. Khaled al-Obeidi visited al-Kut Air Base and oversaw the launch of the first official flight of Iraqi CH-4B drone that will be used against ISIS.

Iraq ordered CH-4B UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) to China, probably after the visit of Chinese foreign minister in February 2014. According to Aero Histo sources, the first batch was received on January 23rd, 2015. First pictures of three units were seen in March.

They have already carried out reconnaissance missions from their own air base at al-Kut. The drone squadron is attached to Iraqi Army Aviation, not Iraqi Air Force as usual in others air forces. The pictures below show one CH-4B carrying HJ-10 ATGM (Anti-Tank Guided Missiles), equivalent of the AGM-114 Hellfire.

[In one of the photographs released by the Iraqi MoD, a] Chinese operator can be seen behind Defence Minister, proof that Iraqis are not yet autonomous in their use. The CH-4 drone is inspired by the MQ-1 Predator and designed by China Aerospace Long March International (ALIT). This UAV is available in two versions: one that can carry a payload of 345 kg, the other of 115 kg.

On the video below, we can see the footage of the first flight of the CH-4B serial "YI-801" with a final shot of HJ-10 missile on a ground target. Four units were spotted, (one on the runway, one on the apron and two others in hangars).


Iraq Launches Its New Chinese CH-4B Drone

(Source: Iraqi Ministry of Defense via YouTube; posted Oct 10, 2015)

On Saturday morning of October 10th, 2015, Iraqi Defence Minister Mr. Khaled al-Obeidi Khalid al-Obaidi arrived at Kut Airbase to see the launching of the Chinese CH-4B combat drone.

There are two versions, the CH-4A and CH-4B. The CH-4A is a reconnaissance drone (capable of a 3500-5000 km range and a 30-40 hour endurance) while the CH-4B is a mixed attack and reconnaissance system with provision for 6 weapons and a payload of up to 345 kg. Maximum takeoff weight is 1,330 to 1,350kg.

(Source: Iraqi Ministry of Defense)

Fuel capacity is 165kg and payload is 345kg. Cruise speed is 150 to 180km/h, while maximum speed is 235km/h. Range is of around 200-250km, and endurance can vary between 30 hours (unarmed) and 14 hours (armed). The service ceiling is 7,500m.

Armament CH-4: Four external hard points (under the wings) capable of operating Lan Jian 7 (Blue Arrow 7) laser-guided air-to-surface missiles; LT series precision guided bombs; TG100 laser/INS/GPS-guided bomb.