China Unveils High-Speed VTOL Attack, Reconnaissance Drone

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Beijing: China has revealed a high-speed vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) attack drone fitted with a unique eight rotor electrical engines.

The eight rotors enable the 170 Kg maximum-take-off-weight drone to achieve a top speed of 60kmph at an altitude of 3000 meters which is nearly twice of conventional VTOL drones equipped with four rotor engines.

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Called A-Hawk, the drone is being displayed for the first time internationally at the Dubai Airshow currently underway. It caused quite a flutter among representatives of Middle Eastern and Western defence personnel and industry executives attending the biennial event. “I have never quite seen anything like this,” a representative of an Italian firm said.

Ning Zong, Chief Technology Officer of Beijing based X-Clouduav, the firm which developed the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) told that drone can carry a payload of 65 kg and can stay in the air for 30 minutes. It can be fitted with both sensors and short-range missiles to identify and eliminate targets.

Its typical applications include attacking terrorists and their bases, safety of secure areas, suppressing firepower and targeted killings. Its civilian applications include tall building surveillance and cargo transportation over short distances.

Zong said the drone has an axis distance of 3470mm. Its structure was compact making it easy to transport and fast to unfold and deploy. The drone provide the convenience of VTOL system with the payload and speed that can come close to that fixed winged drones which are much more heavier and need complex piloting skills.

While X-Cloud has developed the drone, it is being marketed by China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation.