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by Richard Tomkins
Rome (UPI) Jul 15, 2013
Demonstration of an optionally piloted helicopter system has been completed for the Italian Defense Ministry by AgustaWestland.
The Rotorcraft Unmanned Aerial System/Optionally Piloted Helicopter, or RUAS/OPH, was based on the SW-4 and developed by the company and its Polish subsidiary, PSL-Swidnik.
The demonstration of capabilities came under a national military research plan between the Italian Ministry of Defense -- Directorate for Air Armaments -- and AgustaWestland.
"The aircraft successfully completed the planned missions in OPH configuration with a safety pilot on board," AgustaWestland said. "Test activities included system monitoring, 'hands off' and remote-controlled maneuvers, hovering and a range of mission profiles."
The SW-4 Solo RUAS/OPH, based on the proven SW-4 light single-engine helicopter, has been designed for both unmanned and piloted operations, providing users with maximum operational flexibility.
The RUAS version of the SW-4 is a multi-role aircraft for missions such as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and cargo re-supply. In the piloted configuration, the SW-4 can be used for personnel transport in addition to intelligence and reconnaissance.
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