Oddly shaped Chinese combat-ready helicopter drone popular in international market

Global Times
Huang Panyue
2019-04-03 08:43:52

A Blowfish A2 helicopter drone drops bombs while hovering in the air. Photo: courtesy of Zhuhai Ziyan UAV

Capable of delivering precision bombardment, the weirdly shaped Chinese helicopter drone Blowfish A2 sparked interest from many countries' militaries following its flight demonstration at the 15th Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) in Malaysia, the drone's manufacturer said.

The 1.87-meter long, 0.62-meter tall helicopter drone has a maximum take-off weight of 38 kilograms and is capable of carrying a 12-kilogram payload, reads a statement Guangdong-based Zhuhai Ziyan UAV company, the manufacturer of the drone, sent to the Global Times on Tuesday.

In its strange belly-less fuselage, the Blowfish A2 can carry radar, jamming devices, guns or bombs under its spine, according to the statement, which also noted the maximum speed of the helicopter drone is 130 kilometers an hour.

Because it is relatively small and light, the People's Liberation Army could equip basic combat units with the drone, allowing them to conduct reconnaissance and attack in time, said a separate Ziyan statement.

A video the company sent to the Global Times on Tuesday shows the drone dropping four bombs, which detonated some meters above the target, as the guided explosions accurately scorched a wide area.

While a helicopter drone could be slower and have less range than a fixed-wing drone, it is more flexible and is capable of hovering, the company said, noting that it is also suitable for deployment on vessels.

The Blowfish A2 made a seven-minute flight demonstration at LIMA, which was held from March 26 to Saturday.

Since the drone is available for export, multiple countries have approached the company about potential purchases, a Ziyan representative told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Combat-ready helicopter drones made by Ziyan now operate in four countries in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Africa, the representative said, without naming the clients.

The state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) is also developing helicopter drones including the missile-carrying AV500.


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