A bizarre-looking two-seater rotorcraft showcased in China’s National Day parade last week is actually a special operations reconnaissance/assault gyroplane that can glide in on its unsuspecting target.
The gyroplane was officially revealed today as belonging to a special warfare equipment group formation that marched in the parade to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on October 1.
Called Lieying, or Falcon the gyrocopter has already been delivered to the Chinese army and air force paratroopers, several state-owned media outlets reported today.
Lieying was developed by Shaanxi Bao He Defense Technology, a company also known as Shaanxi Baoji Special Vehicle Manufacturing. It can carry two commandos, reconnaissance and communications equipment and weapons, Chinese state media reported quoting Ordnance Industry Science Technology, a Xi'an-based periodical.
According to the report, Lieying has a range of 690 kilometers, a ceiling of 5,300 meters, a takeoff weight of 560 kilograms, and can operate in temperatures as low as minus 36 C. Its small dimensions and low-flying ability keep it from being detected easily.
The aircraft can deliver troops deep into hostile locations or conduct stealth reconnaissance missions, the magazine reported, noting that the gyroplane is small and difficult to detect by radar. As it closes in on a target, it can shut down its engine and glide up to the unsuspecting enemy.
The aerial assault gyroplane project was started in August 2014, with Shaanxi Bao He Defense Technology being the developer, the magazine quoted the chairman of the company, Wang Baohe, as saying.