Photo courtesy of The Public Promotion Department of Changzhou Xinbei District Commission of CCP
A research arm of the Chinese army is teaming with a local company to develop a new unmanned helicopter, according to officials of a southern Chinese city where the company is based.
Officials of the Changzhou Xinbei District Commission said the 60th Research Institute of the People's Liberation Army’s general staff department had signed an agreement with the company, Jiangsu Tianyu Aviation Technology, to develop the drone.
A 2.1-million-sq-ft (200,000-sq-m) facility in the district will house the roughly $150 million (1 billion yuan) project, according to the district commission, which added that the project would focus on the research and development, production and sales of several products. They would include large- and medium-sized unmanned helicopters and related components, mid- and high-level fixed-wing aircraft, specialty stealth materials, agricultural machinery, unmanned aircraft systems, mission payloads "and highly precise information-acquisition processing systems."
The Changzhou government has named aviation as one of 10 key industries for development in the region, the commission said. Companies that have set up operations in the Xinbei District include Beijing General Aviation, China Aviation Supplies Holding Company, New United Group and Aero At (which acquired the small-airplane maker Aero AT Ltd. of Poland in 2013).