Russian Helicopters has begun bench tests of the main systems for the VRT300 rotary-wing unmanned air vehicle being developed by its VR-Technologies design bureau.
If the programme stays on track, the company will by year-end begin flight tests of a 300kg (661lb) prototype, it says.
So far, the "functional and technical configuration" of the UAV has been "agreed with a range of Russian companies and authorities".
"To date, we have defined configuration and technical requirements for this helicopter, and carried out an extensive work to select suppliers of the main systems and assemblies of VRT300," states VR-Technologies director general Alexander Okhonko.
Two variants of the coaxial rotor-equipped platform will be developed: one will be installed with a side-looking radar for ice-sensing operations in the Arctic and the other will be a longer-range model designed for aerial mapping and remote sensing missions.
Both models are powered by an undisclosed heavy-fuel engine and have a payload of 70kg.