Chinese state-owned television has released footage showing that the People’s Liberation Army Ground Force (PLAGF) is either testing or already operating the ZC300 vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) made by local company ZC Aviation.
A screengrab from CCTV 7 footage released on 23 September showing the ZC300 tandem-rotor UAV being used in an exercise organised by the Guilin Joint Logistic Support Centre in southern China. (CCTV)
In a 23 September news report the China Central Television 7 (CCTV 7) channel showed the tandem-rotor UAV being used to deliver medical supplies and ammunition to PLAGF troops as part of an exercise organised by the Guilin Joint Logistic Support Centre in southern China that took place at an altitude of 2,000 m above sea level.
The UAV, which is shown in the footage carrying the supplies in a box attached to its underbelly, is not seen landing at the site but rather dropping the supplies over a designated area.
The ZC300, which was developed in co-operation with the Hainan Tropical Ocean University, was featured in a 13 January article published by the state-owned People’s Daily newspaper.
The paper reported at the time that the UAV could be used for “oceanic observation research” as it can be equipped with a light detection and ranging (LIDAR) system or a multi-aperture radar: an indication that this is a multirole platform. It also stated that the rotorcraft can carry a 150 kg payload, has an endurance of 3 h, and can fly at speeds of 100 km/h.