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China: first drones in service to patrol the sea

AR-500B entered the fleet of China Maritime Safety Administration

China put into service the first two unmanned-helicopters that will carry out maritime patrol services today. These are AR-500B remotely piloted aircraft that entered the fleet of the China Maritime Safety Administration, that is the coast guard of the Land of the Rising Sun, which sent them to the Weihai base, in the Shandong province, in eastern China. They will monitor traffic, accidents and emergencies. 

The AR-500B drone is a light aircraft that has a maximum take-off weight of 500 kg. They are 7.33 meters long, 1.58 meters wide and 2.43 meters high, it can operate with an additional load of 70 kg. It can be used both on board military ships and on land for patrol services. It has a cruising speed of 120 km/h and a flight autonomy of four hours, with a range of action of 100 km and a maximum operating altitude of 4000 metres.

The unmanned helicopters will be used to monitor the waters around Chengshantou, a crucial passage for the approximately 110,000 vessels every year, including merchant ships, container carrier and fishing boats, that enter and leave ports located in the northern part of the Yellow Sea. These drones, equipped with optical units with high resolution infrared thermal imaging, will help law enforcement in monitoring on-shore and off-shore maritime activities.

Gic - 1255224

AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency