A Russian company announced its intention to build a next-generation helicopter capable of taking on fighter jets, soaring at up to 370 mph -- and remaining invisible thanks to its ability to cloak itself from radar.
Vertolety Rossii (or "Russian Helicopter," one of the country's biggest helicopter manufactures) told the Russian press that his company would spend $1 billion on a project to develop a so-called fifth-generation radar-invisible copter. At the press conference in which the plans were unveiled, the company did not provide details on the futuristic vehicle.
But according to Spacewar.com, an official with the Russian Academy of Geopolitical Problems, Konstantin Sivkov, described the criteria for a fifth-generation combat helicopter. He told the paper that it must be radar invisible, have an extended flying range, be equipped with an intellectual arms control system, be able to combat fighter jets (existing helicopters are generally only intended to hit ground-based targets) and reach a speed of up to 370 mph.
"At present, pre-designing research is underway at the two design bureaus, Mil and Kamov," said company CEO Andrei Shibitov. "A large amount of work has been planned with the Central Aero-Hydrodynamic Institute and several other research institutes of aircraft industry. New construction materials and technologies are being tested."
"The testing of two aerodynamic models in air tunnels has been started. The results of these tests will help to choose one of the models out of them,” Shibitov said.
According to SpaceWar, Russian analyst Leonid Ivashov was skeptical about the project's chances for success.
"We have been snatching at everything -- fifth-generation planes, fifth-generation helicopters, but nothing of this have so far been supplied to the army. Today the army uses helicopters produced in 1970s," Ivashov said.