China’s CATIC has unveiled a mock-up of a large unmanned helicopter at the Dubai air show that appears to be designed for shipborne use.
The helicopter is designated AR-2000 and features an electro-optical/infrared sensor in a chin station, and a housing for a surface search radar beneath its fuselage.
The helicopter’s rotors are in a folded back position, suggesting a shipborne role. It also features stub wings, although no armaments are mounted.
The model’s relatively featureless appearance suggests the helicopter may still be at the conceptual stage. CATIC officials declined to comment about the AR-2000 or other models on the company’s stand. CATIC is the export arm of Chinese state airframer AVIC.
Alongside the AR-2000 is a smaller unmanned air vehicle (UAV) designated AR-500W. China’s state-run Global Times news outlet reported that this was displayed at the IDEX defence show in Abu Dhabi in February.
In addition to the two unmanned rotorcraft, CATIC’s stand features models of several fixed-wing UAVs, including the heavily armed Wing Loong WL-X. The jet-powered, V-tailed type is depicted carrying 16 weapons – eight bombs and eight missiles.
A model of the Wing Loong II shows it with a synthetic aperture radar pod under its centerline, along with bombs and rockets.
The company is also showing a model of the Harbin Z-20 utility helicopter, an in-service type that resembles the Sikorsky UH-60, as well as a Z-10ME attack helicopter.
Chinese aircraft are also present at the show. China’s August 1st display team, equipped with the Chengdu J-10C, is performing in the flying display. The Chengdu/Pakistan Aeronautical Complex JF-17 is appearing in both the flying display and in the static park.