Serbia's EDePro is developing a lightweight rotary-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), the X-01 Strsljen (Hornet).
Speaking to Jane's at IDEX 2017 in Abu Dhabi, the company's lead engineer, Dr Predrag Matejic, said that development of the aircraft commenced in 2012 and was driven by an analysis of customer requirements and market demands.
EDePro displayed a mock-up of the platform at the exhibition but Matejic explained that ultimately the aircraft - which is a clean sheet design - will be manufactured using carbon fibre, lightweight steel, and aluminium.
The aircraft will be powered by a Phoenix-250 DF turboshaft engine developing 180 kW; this will drive a 7.6 m-diameter, two-bladed rotor on a teetering head.
Matejic said that the roadmap for the development of the system envisages transmission system and gearbox testing in mid-2017, followed by hovering tests in September and October.
The StrÜljen will feature a chin-mounted gimbal for an electro-optical/infrared system, as well as pylons to accommodate various payloads, including armament. Matejic said that an air-launched Spider anti-armour missile is one option, but this will be modified to have a soft launch, whereby the missile is dropped from the pylon before its motor is engaged. A further weapon option will be a 12.7 mm machine gun.
The projected performance for the platform states top and cruising speeds of 180 km/h and 160 km/h respectively, as well as an endurance of up to four hours and a ceiling of 13,000 ft, with a rate of climb of 26 ft per second.
The aircraft will have an empty weight of 400 kg with a payload capacity - a mix of fuel and mission systems - of up to 350 kg.
The standard fuel load is stated as approximately 200 litres, with the ability to carry a maximum of 240 litres. The StrÜljen airframe measures 6.75 m long, 1.8 m wide, and 2.65 m high.
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