Does China’s new CH-5 Rainbow drone leave US Reaper in the dust

China’s new drone may come in at half the price but it has a weaker engine than the MQ-9 Reaper, above, and cannot fly as highETHAN MILLER/GETTY

China has unveiled its deadliest drone so far, with the maker of the unmanned vehicle, which can carry up to 16 missiles, boasting that it would leave the US’s notorious Reaper drone “in the dust”.

The mass-production model of the CH-5 Rainbow, with its 21-metre wingspan and capacity to carry 1,000kg of equipment, made its first flight at an airshow in northern Hebei province last Friday.

Created by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation mainly to be sold abroad, the drone could cost half the price of a Reaper, experts say. According to Chinese state media, previous drones in the Rainbow series have been sold to countries including Egypt, Burma, Iraq, Pakistan, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia. … Full Story

Maybe this is true, and maybe it’s not, but what matters the most is the price. Moreover, with time China will continue to develop even more sophisticated units and sell them at a price that is far cheaper than those made in the US. Even if one unit is not on par with a top US drone; two of them certainly are, and the price for two is probably less than the price for one drone made in the US.

The same analogy can be used with Russian Sukhoi fighter jets, their price is so much lower than F35, that you could buy up two Su35 and still have about 30 million in change to spare.

There is simply no way one F-35 could outgun to Su35’s.  The servicing costs are significantly lower too so when you add that in, there is enough money to buy 3 Su35’s for the price one F35. Russia is also giving volume discount; the final cost could drop from 75 million to 50 million a unit.



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