Why Iraq grounded all Chinese made CH-4 UCAV

After Saudi Arabia now Iraq also facing major problems in CH-4 UCAV, and force to grounded all 

Iraq is struggling to maintain its airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capability, especially its Chinese-made CH-4 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). According to a report by CJTF-OIR (Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve) on May 4, all Iraqi CH-4 unmanned combat aircraft (UCAVs) purchased from China were forced to lie on the ground due to their inability.

The Su-25 and Iraqi CH-4 unmanned strike aircraft (UCAVs) actually last operated in September 2019, the report said. The cause of the incident was revealed by the Iraqi side waiting for spare parts from the manufacturer.

iraqi CH-4 UCAV
iraqi CH-4 UCAV

However, according to the source of the US Inspector General, only the Su-25 lacked spare parts while all CH-4 UAVs showed poor combat ability, inaccurate attacks, so its gave up by Iraq. Stop flying to avoid causing unwanted side damage.

“The Iraqi Air Force bought a total of 20 CH-4s from China in 2015. During the real-time fight against the rebels, 8 aircraft were dropped for unknown reasons, the rest did not prove their combat capabilities as expected”-This is the reason why these UCAVs have been suspended for nearly two years,” said US Inspector General.

Derbies of CH-4 UCAV
Derbies of CH-4 UCAV

Talking about the reason why Iraq did not buy US UCAV but a product from China, then Iraq’s Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi frankly said: “We can buy anyone’s weapons but it will be not the US to reduce dependence on their weapons. ”

Meanwhile, according to the Air Force Times magazine, to successfully carry out this UCAV CH-4 deal, Iraq has received a lot of incentives from China.

Explaining their judgment, the Air Force Times said that China is now looking to increase its influence in Iraq, Syria, and the entire Middle East. Therefore, selling UCAV to Iraq is not necessarily just for Chinese commercial purposes.

Constantly shot down by weapons from modern to old in the Middle East, the Chinese-made CH-4 combat UCAV is not as strong as advertised. For a long time, Chinese-made weapons have always been discussed about their effectiveness compared with weapons of the same type in the world.

Chinese-made weapons are often copied from such as Russian and the United States. The CH-4 is also believed to have been copied from the famous American MQ-9. Despite the appearance of the legendary US-made MQ-9, experts say that the combat capabilities of this UCAV are far behind those of the US.

The CH-4 is the largest fixed-wing UCAV of the Rainbow line (as of late 2013). These UCAVs are capable of operating in a range of 3,500 to 5,000 km and operating times of 30 to 40 hours. They can carry 6 types of rockets (payloads from 250 to 345 kg).

According to advertisers, this UCAV is capable of firing air-to-ground missiles from an altitude of 5000m, but actual combat shows that they often have to lower altitudes if they want to hit their targets.

Currently, the UCAV CH-4 is widely used in the Chinese military and is exported to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Iraq.


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