NORINCO of China has followed the global lead and developed an unmanned rotary-wing Unmanned Helicopter System (UHS) in the "Sharp Eye III". The product is intended for the unarmed or armed reconnaissance-strike role. The ability to behave as a traditional helicopter provides unique tactical advantages on the modern battlefield - allowing access to forward-operating areas normally cut-off to fixed-wing aircraft types.
Its design arrangement mimics that of a traditional helicopter with a main rotor mast and torque-cancelling tail-mounted blade unit. Both the main rotor and tail rotor elements are of a two-bladed design. The fuselage houses all major components including mission payloads and powerplant and a slim tail stem emanates from the upper rear section of the fuselage allowing a drive system to reach the tail rotor. The undercarriage is of a simple skid arrangement and is fixed in flight.
Like other UAS products, Sharp Eye III is operated through a manned Ground Control Unit (GCU). The listed operating ceiling is around 3.5 kilometers with a take-off weight in the 450 kilogram range. Maximum speed is 180 kmh with a mission endurance window of four to six hours.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Ground Attack (Bombing, Strafing)
Ability to conduct aerial bombing of ground targets by way of (but not limited to) guns, bombs, missiles, rockets, and the like.
✓Close-Air Support (CAS)
Developed to operate in close proximity to active ground elements by way of a broad array of air-to-ground ordnance and munitions options.
✓Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
Aircraft inherently designed (or later developed) with an unmanned capability to cover a variety of over-battlefield roles.
13.1 ft (4.00 m)
16.4 ft (5.00 m)
3.9 ft (1.20 m)
441 lb (200 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base NORINCO Sharp Eye III production variant)
1 x Engine driving two-blade main rotor and two-blade tail rotor.
None for traditional reconnaissance role. Mission payload to include various optics and special mission equipment. Strike versions will incorporate wingstubs for carrying rocket pods and perhaps precision strike munitions.
(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Sharp Eye III - Base Series Designation
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.
The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.
Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft, and SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane.