Russia plans to develop fifth generation helicopter
The Russian air force will receive an advanced helicopter following the fifth generation fighter jet. A partner of Russia’s helicopter holdings, “Vertolety Rossii” or “Helicopters of Russia” is now working on the concept of a fifth generation helicopter, says company’s CEO, Andrei Shibitov.
Although the T-50 fighter jet of the Sukhoi Company is successfully undergoing its flight tests, the helicopter project is in its preliminary stage, says Andrei Shibitov.
“The term, “fifth generation” in military hardware is also linked to helicopters,” says Andrei Shibitov. “We are working on the concept of the fifth generation combat helicopter, but I can’t reveal its details now,” Andrei Shibitov said.
Experts say a combat helicopter of the next generation must have several specific characteristics: it should be light, noiseless and invisible to radar. Moreover, the range of the new helicopter should be increased, and it should be equipped with a computerized arms control system and be able to combat fighter jets, and reach a speed of up to 500-600 kilometers per hour.
Presumably, experts will use technical and technological developments made for a high-speed helicopter. The future high-speed helicopter for the holding company is a breakthrough and work on the machine is now gaining momentum, says Andrei Shibitov. “At present, pre-designing research is underway at the two design bureaus, Mil and Kamov,” says Andrei Shibitov. “A large amount of work has been planned with the Central Aero-Hydrodynamic Institute and several other research institutes of aircraft industry. New construction materials and technologies are being tested. The testing of two aerodynamic models in air tunnels has been started. The results of these tests will help to choose one of the models out of them,” Andrei Shibitov said.
The European and American companies are working on a high-speed helicopter too. The first American helicopter made its maiden flight some time ago but it faced serious problems. It’s unclear whether they have been solved by now. The Eurocopter, which started the work on a new helicopter almost at the same time as the Russian company, is engaged in working out a concept of a helicopter weighing from 8 to 11 tons. These characteristics almost coincide with the models of the two Russian design bureaus that plan to develop helicopters weighing from 8 to 10 tons and from 10 to 15 tons.An international helicopter industry exhibition, HeliRussia-2010, that opens in Moscow on Thursday will provide more details about the work of “Helicopters of Russia” company on a high-speed helicopter.