The Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) has unveiled its first unmanned combat helicopter AV500W for the foreign buyers at the fourth China Helicopter Expo, one of the largest expos in the country. The helicopter was displayed in the northeastern Tianjin city to attract buyers and extend China’s military drone export possibilities abroad.
This unmanned helicopter, produced by Ziyan UAV, surpasses its counterparts with its exceptional performance in safety, load-bearing, and speed. It has the ability to carry 120 kilograms of weapons and equipment.
All the other military drones offered by China before have been fixed-wing models making AV500W the country’s first unmanned military helicopter in the market.
Jiang Taiyu, one of the chief designers of AV500W, said that all the tests on the helicopter would finish by the end of 2017, making it ready for mass production in the succeeding year.
The helicopter is in demand by many countries. “It does not restrict landing on plateaus and canyons. It has the ability to operate in cold and tropical environment, and it can carry out very-low-altitude penetration with the capability of hovering for a while,” Jiang added.
Aircraft is 7.2-meter-long and it has a maximum take-off weight of 450 kilograms, a flight ceiling of 4,000 meters and a maximum speed of 170 kilometers per hour, according to reports.
Apart from the U.S’ Northrop Grumman MQ-8B Fire Scout and a drone helicopter of Israel, no other nation owns an unmanned aircraft making AV500W a high demand model.
AV500W carts four air-to-ground missiles that use radar homing technology for guidance. Every missile weighs 8 kilograms and it can hit a target 5 kilometers away.
Broadly the target market of the helicopter would be the countries dealing with terrorism, mainly the Middle East. More than 400 helicopter producers and suppliers of parts, including the US, Russia, and France, are taking part in the helicopter expo.