November 09, 2021


The Royal Thai Army (RTA) has published pictures and information of the first prototype of the D-eyes 04 Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), locally developed by Thailand’s Defense Technology Institute (DTI) and the RTA’s Research and Development Office (ARDO).

The collaboration between DTI and ARDO to develop a medium tactical UAS was formalized on June 22 this year. Interestingly, while it was then stated that the development of the D-eyes 04 will be based on Chinese Beihang CY-9 drones, the design of the D-eyes 04 bears a passing resemblance to the CH-4 Rainbow UAS series developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).

The new D-eyes 04 UAS will be used by the Royal Thai Army Aviation Center, although it had earlier been stated that it would be operated by the RTA’s artillery regiments as a spotter drone. The future development plan of the D-eyes 04 is likely to transform it into an Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) by incorporating targeting systems and weapon pylons for air-to-ground missiles.

The DTI/ARDO D-eyes 04 is a medium-sized UAS with a length of 6.5 meters, 13.4 meters wingspan, and 2.5 meters height. It has an operating radius of about 200 km with a 20 hours endurance, a 24,000 ft (about 7,300 meters) service ceiling, and a maximum speed of around 180 km/hour. Equipped with a day/night and all-weather electro-optical/IR system, It has a maximum take-off weight of 750 kg with a maximum payload weight of about 150 kg. It’s still unknown how many of the D-eyes 04 UAS will be produced.