China Tests New Helicopter Drone Slated For Service In South China Sea

China, having claimed most of the South China Sea for itself, has published a new report that suggests helicopter drones could soon be deployed to its militarized islands.

The AV500W vertical take-off and landing unmanned helicopter manufactured by Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) has completed its first-night operation under challenging conditions, showing that the new helicopter drone is ready for serious production and future deployment.

Global Times said the AV500W test flight was conducted on June 14 in South China’s Hainan Province. The helicopter drone performed a night-time mission to identify a vessel with its electro-optical sensors.

During its flight, the AV500 overcame challenging environments including strong winds and high salinity and humidity, AVIC said in the statement, noting the operation proved the drone helicopter’s capability to operate at night.”

During a test several years ago in Northwest China’s Gansu Province, the helicopter climbed to an altitude of 16,400 feet, demonstrating its superior flight capabilities.

A military expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Thursday that the new helicopter drone is set to be offered to domestic and international clients.

The expert said the drone could carry out a patrol, reconnaissance, damage evaluation, and attack missions.

The drone successfully conducted a missile firing test in 2018, making it combat ready, and appealing to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) controlling the militarized islands in the South China Sea, otherwise known as Spratly islands.

The AV500W can carry 385-pound payload and fly a little over 100 mph carrying laser-guided missiles or machine guns, AVIC said.

Since the PLA doesn’t have helicopter drone gunships patrolling the South China Sea, the US Navy who conducts freedom of navigation missions near the Spratly islands might one day be greeted by a helicopter drone from China.

This post has been republished with permission from a publicly-available RSS feed found on Zero Hedge. The views expressed by the original author(s) do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of The Libertarian Hub, its owners or administrators. Any images included in the original article belong to and are the sole responsibility of the original author/website. The Libertarian Hub makes no claims of ownership of any imported photos/images and shall not be held liable for any unintended copyright infringement. Submit a DCMA takedown request.

Read the original article.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Weekly Newsletter SignupTop 5 Stories of the Week

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive a weekly email report of the top five most popular articles on the Libertarian Hub!