Singapore Airshow: China Promoting New VTOL UAV
By Wendell Minnick
Singapore - China is promoting exports of a new vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) at the 2010 Singapore Airshow.
China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC) provided brochures for the first time on the U8E VTOL UAV.
CATIC did not exhibit a model or the actual aircraft, but was more than willing to provide new data on a platform that has remained a mystery to many analysts.
The U8E is a light multi-role UAV with some impressive specifications:
■ Maximum takeoff weight of 220 kg
■ Maximum speed of 150km/hour
■ Cruise speed of 120 km/h
■ Ceiling of 3,500 m
■ Range of 150 km
■ Maximum Endurance of four hours
■ Maximum Payload of 40 kg
"With EO [electro-optical] and multi-function payload, U8E can play a very important role both in civil and military operations. Using U8E is the best solution for surveillance operations and anti-terrorism action," said a CATIC press release.
The aircraft has a helicopter configuration with a wingspan of 3.86 meters, fuselage width of 1 meter, length at 3.738 meters and a height of 1.47 meters.
CATIC also showed off a model of ASN-209 tactical UAV system. The 209 is a medium altitude and medium endurance (MAME) multi-role fixed wing aircraft with systems that include a direct line-of-sight (LOS) data link, UAV airborne data relay used for beyond LOS missions and a ground-based data relay for beyond LOS missions. It can be fitted with a synthetic aperture radar, EO payload and multi-function payload.
The 209 mission capabilities include a 200 km range, 180 km/h maximum speed, 50 kg payload and a 5,000 meter operational ceiling. Configurations include ground moving target indication (GMTI), electronic intelligence, electronic warfare, ground target designation (GTD) and communications relay.