Aviation Industry Corp of China has unveiled its new unmanned armed helicopter, AV500W at the fourth China Helicopter Expo that opened on Thursday in Tianjin.
The AV500W unmanned autonomous helicopter developed and produced at the AVIC Helicopter Research and Development Institute has a maximum takeoff weight of 450 kilograms, a maximum speed of 170 kilometers per hour and a flight ceiling of 4,000 meters, China Daily reports.
According to the report, AV500W helicopter's tests will be finished before the end of this year and it will be ready for mass-production in 2018.
The developers are tapping international market especially Middle East through the on-going expo by showcasing the first Chinese unmanned military helicopter AV500W.
Jiang Taiyu, one of the chief designers of AV500W, was quoted as saying that the AV500W's target market will be countries dealing with terrorism such as in the Middle East. "Several nations have told us that they are interested in this aircraft. This is because there are a very small number of unmanned helicopters in the world that can perform strikes, while demand for such types is not small," Jiang said further.
An armed AV500W can carry four air-to-ground missiles, which uses radar homing technology for guidance. Each missile weighs 8 kg and can hit a target 5 km away and also can carry bombs or a machine-gun pod.
The helicopter features good mobility, penetration capability and a high level of automation and has a stealth design. A typical mission would be a precision attack on light-duty armored vehicles and personnel, the institute said.