Russia’s Radar MMS BPV-500 unmanned helicopter

Russia’s Radar MMS BPV-500 unmanned helicopter

The Russia’s Radar MMS research and production company has unveiled it’s modernized version of BPV-500 unmanned helicopter at the International Maritime Defense Show.
The new version of BPV-500 is an unmanned helicopters and monitoring systems, that has a takeoff weight of 500 kg. The unmanned aircraft is capable of carrying up to 180 kg. If needed, it can deliver a float, food and any other supplies to the emergency area.
The BPV-500 unmanned helicopter is capable of flying in automatic and semi-automatic modes at altitudes of up to 3,500 meters. The range of action is 320 kilometers, the flight duration is 8 hours
Radar MMS representative Sergey Prokofiev told that the BPV-500 is designed to operate from land and naval vessels, and is intended to fill a range of mission sets. “The BPV-500 has been designed in accordance with global VTOL UAS development tendencies. Military bodies and law enforcement agencies can use the vehicle to conduct search-and-rescue [SAR], patrol, and counter-insurgency [COIN] missions,” he said.
A complete UAS consists of a single BPV-500 air vehicle, ground control elements that feature two work stations, communications equipment, and a set of payloads for the aircraft. The control stations can be fitted on board naval vessels or integrated on ground vehicles.
Prokofiev explained that the air vehicle is based on a Rotor-Flight helicopter and utilises only Russian-built components.
The aircraft has a maximum take-off weight of 500 kg and a payload capacity of 150 kg. According to Radar MMS it has an endurance 5.5 hours, a ceiling of 11,482 ft, a maximum speed of 155 km/h, and a range of 320 km. The aircraft can operate with varying levels of autonomy, including pre-programmed missions.
The BPV-500 air vehicle’s fuselage measures 4.7 m long and 1.6 m wide, and has a height of 2.6 m. It features a coaxial main rotor that has a diameter of 6 m; in a naval configuration these blades can be folded.
Russian Project 22160 corvettes will be fitted with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for searching for submarines, and surveillance of surface vessels and shoreline. Also, UAVs will provide target designation to ship-based armament systems and, in the future, may be used for strike missions, the newspaper Izvestia reports.
The Navy Commander-in-Chief’s directorate revealed to Izvestia that a modular unmanned aerial system (UAS) has been developed for Project 22160 corvettes and is now being prepared for trials. All the equipment, including the operator’s work station, is accommodated in one or two standard cargo containers that can be placed on deck of a ship.
The UAS suite includes two coaxially built BPV-500 helicopter type UAVs. A model of this UAV for the armed forces was displayed at the International Maritime Defense Show in 2017. Its tests started in the autumn of that year. The UAV takeoff weight is 500 kg, the body measures 5 m in length, the payload is 150 kg. The vehicle can remain in flight up to 5.5 hours and operate at a distance of 320 km from its carrier.
The system is designed for aerial monitoring of large areas, including for on-ice reconnaissance, support of search and rescue operations, patrolling, guarding and anti-terrorist missions. Over time, UAVs may be armed with missiles and bombs, which will enable them to perform combat duties. The coaxial design ensures the BPV-500’s higher hovering accuracy, making them less vulnerable to wind blasts, which is essential in landing onto a small ship. An optronic system and onboard radar are used for gathering information.
The data are transmitted to the ship in real time. UAV can operate in an autonomous mode (flying by a preset route) or controlled by an operator.
Project 22160 corvettes have a low radar signature. The specific feature of these ships is their modular design. However, due to their relatively small size and displacement, the corvettes have no hangar for aviation equipment. Normally they are fitted only with a landing pad on the stern. Therefore permanent basing of helicopters on them is impossible, which compromises their combat abilities. However, this problem can be resolved by using containerized UAVs.
Denis Fedutinov, an expert on UAVs, believes that in reconnaissance, drones can replace conventional helicopters on small displacement ships. “The use of such UAS on Project 22160 corvettes stems from the need to effectively gather information without risk to the crew. Thus a single ship can monitor a much larger water area,” the expert noted
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