Report/ Iran's military achievements:
Iran's Shahed 285 Chopper; Step in manufacturing light combat helicopters (LCH)

Tehran (IP) - Iran, with the largest helicopter industry in the region, is one of the leading countries in the field of design and manufacture of military and civilian helicopters.

Iran PressIran News: Due to their special flight characteristics such as having a speed less than the speed of sound, flying at low altitudes, and less flight preparation time than aircraft, helicopters are always among the most effective flying equipment in the military field. Moreover, the value of helicopters was clearly proven in combat and transportation during the 8 years of the Iraqi-imposed war against Iran.

The development and production of new helicopters based on existing helicopters are commonplace around the world because, in addition to reducing design costs, it also reduces maintenance costs and makes it easy to replace parts of one helicopter on another part of the family. 

Iran also joined the Hall of Helicopter Manufacturers in 1998 with the Shabaviz helicopter construction, which was the reverse-engineered and upgraded model of the Bell 205 helicopter.

In the next stage, the family of Shahed helicopters was produced in three models, 'Shahed 274', 'Shahed 278' and 'Shahed 285', which for the first time in this family, the design and construction process was completely indigenous.

The production of Shahed family helicopters showed that using a suitable model and platform such as Bell 206 jet Ranger Jet, it is possible to produce helicopters that have many advantages such as reducing the cost of design and construction, maintenance and the possibility of replacing parts from a helicopter to another helicopter.


The Shahed is a locally designed Iranian light helicopter with several helicopter-type components, visibly similar to the Bell 206.

Reported to have made its maiden flight between 1997 and 1998 and accumulated 200 flight hours by March 2001, the Shahed 278 was publically displayed for the first time in 2002.

The Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) has designed and manufactured the combat version.

The hull and propeller blades have been made of non-metal composite materials, which contribute to a lightweight, avoids corrosion, and, consequently, enables it to operate in diverse environments.

It has a flight endurance of more than four hours and enjoys a dual flight management system. A multi-function display (MFD) can be installed in newer models, which improves repair and maintenance time.

Its main missions are patrolling and identification, air control and commander carrying, military and commercial pilot training, city traffic control, air ambulance, environment protection patrolling, and utility lines supervision.

The different versions of this helicopter are used for firing anti-armor missiles.

In fact, the Shahed 285 helicopter is very similar to the Shahed 278, which was introduced a few years before the Shahed 285 to be unveiled. The Shahed 285 helicopter was built using the structure, engine, power transmission system, and tail of the Shahed 278. To manufacture this helicopter, it was redesigned from the tail to the front to create a single-person combat helicopter.

Parts of the fuselage and fins of this helicopter are made of non-metallic composites, which, while reducing its weight, prevents corrosion and rust, and as a result, the possibility of operating in various environments.Absorption and depreciation of engine vibrations as well as longer life and durability of related parts are also features of the use of these advanced materials, which reduce maintenance costs during the life of the chopper and make the use of this completely indigenous helicopter more economical.

Extensive use of advanced non-metal composites and reducing the weight of the helicopter, which increases the weight of the portable cargo, has other benefits such as absorbing and reducing radar waves' energy. Different parts of this helicopter are produced in the country by domestic industries, namely structural components, various body and tail parts, cockpit glass, wiring, pilot systems, including advanced digital displays, flight control, and engine control lever, various engine parts, power transmission system and its components, main blade and tail and their axles and many other components. Shahed 285 single-pilot helicopter is a combat helicopter and can perform close reconnaissance and support missions well, and target enemy equipment and forces with its various weapons.

The Shahed 285 was unveiled on May 24, 2009. The IRGC says the state-of-the-art helicopter is capable of taking part in seaborne and airborne combat operations.

The Shahed 285 can carry cannons, machine guns, guided missiles, anti-armor missiles, and air-to-air and air-to-sea missiles. The '100% domestic-made all-weather aircraft' has a slick aerodynamic design and can take off harsh conditions. Its rotors and cabin are made from advanced composite materials.

The newly developed aircraft is easy to maintain and can be stored in combat zones for immediate access.

Compared to the American OH-58 Kiowa, which retains the airframe of the Bell 206, the Shahed 285 is a single-seater with a narrower fuselage but retains the tail and power plant/rotor structures and is intended for military use.

The helicopter performs military missions, including reconnaissance and combat patrol, and ground forces support.

The helicopter has a range of 800km and an endurance of about five hours. It is camouflaged in light blue for marine environments.

So far, it has used two types of weapons – anti-ship missiles known as Kowsar, weighing 120kg with a range of about 25km installed on each side of the helicopter; and SADID 1 rockets, mounted four on each side, which, according to sources, have a range of 10km.

During the unveiling of the helicopter on May 24, 2009, one Shahed 285 helicopter armed with rocket launchers and cannons at the nose with a mission to operate against ground targets and another armed with a cruise missile and surface search radar at the nose with a mission to operate against naval targets were unveiled and flew.

These helicopters performed well in tests, and land and sea versions were displayed at the Kish Air Show in 2010.

Shahed 285 helicopters as indigenous products with the ability to search, target, and combat reconnaissance, the ability to fire in close combat, the ability to fly at high speeds at low altitudes and fire-guided missiles and smart bombs, and the ability to fly in a variety of geographical conditions is capable of carrying out military missions well, and are an important step in easing sanctions on the sale of advanced aviation systems to the country. Although this helicopter was designed in IRGC’s Shahed Industries, this helicopter is produced by Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industries Company (HESA) in Isfahan.

Different types of Shahed helicopters have reached mass production, and while increasing the process of equipping them with advanced systems in the future, they will also take part in the operational burden of ground attack of Cobra helicopters.


The use of composites in the Shahed 285 helicopter, which has reduced its weight, has enabled it to carry a wide range of weapons for combat operations.

Shahed 285 has two main variants: the AH-85A, the AH-85B, land-based variants, and the AH-85C, a sea-based variant. 

The AH-85A and the AH-85B models are equipped with two launchers of the 70-mm Hydra 70 rockets, each with a capacity of 7 rockets, and a PK machine gun at the nose in two models with a rotating turret. An electro-optical / thermal camera has also been installed on the roof of this model. 

The Shahed 285 helicopter's land-based variants are also capable of carrying and firing different types of Sadid missiles. The sea-based variant of Shahed 285 helicopter (AH-85C) is equipped with 2 Kowsar anti-ship missiles or 8 Sadid missiles (4 missiles on each side).

Sadid missile with a weight of 34 kg is one of the missiles with triple infrared guidance, laser, and optics, which is capable of destroying all types of moving and fixed surface targets in the effective radius of 30 meters and the destruction radius of 5 meters with a warhead.

The Kowsar cruise missile, which weighs 120 kilograms and has a range of about 25 kilometers (which also increases as a result of firing from a moving helicopter), can be installed on either side of the helicopter.

The sea-based variant of the Shahed 285 helicopter (AH-85C) relies on a multi-purpose display to fire these missiles. This model is installed in the cockpit. In this model, instead of the machine gun, a search and tracking radar is installed in the nose so that this helicopter has the ability to detect and track enemy vessels with a range of 30 to 40 kilometers.


Type                                         Light combat/ reconnaissance helicopter

Manufacturer                          Shahed Industries and final production of Iran Aircraft Manufacturing                                                      Industries Company (HESA)        

First flight                                              2009

Helicopter weight                                 820 kg

Maximum take-off weight                   1450 kg

Maximum speed                                    240 km / h (land-based variant), 225 km / h (sea-based variant)

Maximum height                                    4160 meters

Time of Flight                                        4.3 hours (land-based variant), 5 hours (sea-based variant)

Maximum range                                   (flying at an altitude of 1500 meters), 650 km (land-based variant),                                                                   875 km (sea-based variant) Length                                                     11.84 meters

 Width                                                       2.78 meters

  Height                                                      3.42 meters

  The diameter of the helicopter’s main propeller                 10.16 meters

 The diameter of the helicopter’s tail impeller                        1.57 meters

Engine                                                                                      A 420-hp turboshaft engine

Crew                                                                                        One person


Land-based variant: 7.62-mm PK machine gun, 14 Hydra 70 rockets or 8 Sadid missiles

Sea-based variant: 8 Sadid missiles, 2 Kowsar missiles


Read more:

Iran's Armed Forces receive 10 overhauled helicopters

Iran to use drones, choppers more: IRGC Cmdr