In May 2009, Iran officially announced the prototype of the Shahed 285 helicopter.

The Shahed 285 is the lightest dedicated attack helicopter in the world. It has an empty weight of 820 kg, and a maximum take-off weight of 1.45 tons. The helicopter is 11.84 meters long (38 ft 10 in), 2.78 meters wide (9 ft 1 in) , and 3.47 meters high (11 ft 5 in), and the Main rotor diameter is 10m.

Instead of two pilots like the other attack helicopters, the Shahed 285 is operated by a single pilot. He sits in a cockpit with windshields in the front and sides. The cockpit has a relatively heavy frame, as seen on the Western attack helicopters. The pilot’s field of view is significantly limited by small flat windshields, and the rear view is completely blocked by the fuselage. It is thought that the cockpit is well modernized with digital functionality and multi-function displays to ease the pilot’s workload.

Shahed 285
Shahed 285

The power of this small helicopter is powered by a Rolls-Royce Model 250-C20J turboshaft engine, producing 420 horsepower. According to the report, the Shahed 285 can reach a top speed of 240 km/h (150 mph), a range of 875km (544 mi), a service ceiling of 4,160m (13,650 ft), and a rate climb of 7.6 m/s (1,500 ft/min).

The Shahed 285 variant, also known as the AH-85A, is designed for army aviation and is armed with two 70-mm NAR and 7,62-mm PKT machine guns in a mobile turret. However, the mobile turret was later abandoned, and the machine gun was firmly fixed.

Modification AH-85C designed for the Iranian Navy. Instead of a machine gun installation in the bow there is a search radar. On the pylons of the sea helicopter AH-85C, two Kowsar anti-ship missiles with a launch range of up to 20 km are suspended. The weight of the missile is 100 kg, each RCC carries the 29 kg warhead.

Overall, the Shahed 285 is a fairly rudimentary light attack helicopter. Its combat qualities when used against enemies with modern military air defenses are highly questionable. The Iranians themselves believed that the Shahed 285 should only be used to conduct reconnaissance operations, and to act against weakly protected targets.


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