According to open-source export-import records, the Chinese defence contractor Aerospace Long-March International (ALIT) delivered five CH-4 unmanned aerial vehicles to the Pakistan Army.
The shipment was recorded on 15 January 2021. It is not yet clear if this order is an initial batch ahead of a larger acquisition, or a small-scale purchase for testing or limited utilization.
Pakistan joins Iraq, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Myanmar, and Jordan as an operator of the CH-4. It is unclear if Pakistan ordered the CH-4A or CH-4B. If the CH-4B, the Pakistan Army will gain another armed drone (in addition to its Burraq-series) for unmanned combat operations.
The CH-4 reportedly has a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 1,300 kg. According to ALIT, the CH-4 can carry up to four munitions (weighing 50 kg each) plus an electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) turret. It has a reported endurance of 40 hours and a cruising speed of 180 knots.
Pakistan was initially linked to a possible CH-4 drone purchase in 2016 when Shi Wen, the lead designer of drones at China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) at the time, said the company was talking to a South Asian customer. In June 2016, a Wing Loong had crashed in Mianwali, Pakistan from an “experimental flight,” indicating that Pakistan was evaluating Chinese UAVs.
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