A prototype of China’s Caihong-7 (CH-7) or Rainbow 7, which is currently in the design stage, is being showcased for the first time at the Airshow China 2018.
The Caihong-7 is a high-altitude, subsonic, and stealth drone, which has a maximum takeoff weight of 13 tons and a wingspan of 22 meters.
The rainbow series of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) can perform fire suppression, electronic warfare, reconnaissance, long-term warning and other tasks on the battlefield.
The CH-7 is being developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).
Its development makes China among a handful of companies to develop high-altitude, high-speed and stealth drones worldwide. The CH-7 is competing with the US RQ-180 and X-47B.
The Rainbow-7 can perform tasks together with manned aircraft, including four generations of stealth fighters. The UAV would perform pre-reconnaissance and surveillance missions, using its stealth capabilities and long-haul performance, together with manned aircraft and early warning aircraft.
According to experts the UAV has the ability to be modified for use on carriers, and if it is equipped with radar, it would improve China’s ability to safeguard maritime rights and interests.