A new unmanned helicopter drone carrying the designation Z-5 B/H was displayed at 6th China Military Intelligent Technology and Equipment Expo that opened on September 22 in Beijing.
While the Z-5 helicopter drone has been around for several years now, it is not clear what the B/H designation stands for. A photo of the drone appeared on the official news website of the Chinese PLA. However no information about the drone was provided.
The new drone is probably an intelligence gathering platform and likely an advanced version of the Z-5 drone.
According to information on the website of Nanjing Research Institute on Simulation Technique (NRIST), the Z-5 B/H drone manufacturer, “Z-5 unmanned helicopter is a multi-purpose light unmanned helicopter developed independently by our institute. It has many functions such as three-dimensional control, automatic takeoff and landing, online mission plan and multi-airplane formation flight. Our institute has developed Z-5 plateau type, Z-5 carried-based type and many other types of unmanned helicopter on its basis.”
From the information provided by NRIST, it is clear that the Z-5 unmanned helicopter has several variants. But what specific application the B/H designation indicates is not known.
The Z-5 rotary-wing UAV was first unveiled to the public in September 2011. According to the People’s Daily, the Z-5 is a military aircraft with capabilities for adversary signal interference and area surveillance.
Chinese arms firms traditionally launch new products at domestic defence trade shows. The prominent display for the Z-5 B/H and the publication of its image in the official PLA news website indicates that this could be an all-new product.
A report about the China Military Intelligent Technology Show accompanying the Z-5 B/H drone image said. “This expo aims to fully demonstrate the innovation and latest achievements of China’s military intelligent technology.”