The Shahed 285 scout helicopter uses components of the Bell 206 JetRanger

The Shahed 285 (Witness) is an Iranian lightweight scout helicopter. It was developed by IRGC. It was first publicly revealed in 2009. This helicopter is being produced by Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company (HESA).

It is based on a modified airframe and components of the Shahed 278, that is derived from the Bell 206 JetRanger. Even though design of this helicopter does not look mature, the Shahed 285 successfully passed test flights and was accepted to service with Iranian Air Force.

It is a major achievement to Iran, however it is considered that it is not comparable to the latest Western military helicopters. It seems that currently Iran operates a number of pre-production Shahed 285 helicopters. However it is not yet in a full-scale production.

Main mission for the Shahed 285 is reconnaissance, scouting and observation. This helicopter can be armed with cannons, machine guns, rocket pods, guided air-to-ground and air-to-air missiles. If requires the Shahed 285 can support ground forces with its firepower.

The first version of the Shahed 285 was fitted with a nose-mounted 7.62 mm machine gun. On later models it was replaced by an undernose NSV 12.7 mm machine gun.

The Shahed is operated by a single pilot. This helicopter has a narrow fuselage. It seems that is has no or very little armor.

Most likely that the Shahed 285 is powered by a Rolls-Royce (Allison) 250-C20J gas turbine engine, developing 420 shp. The original Allison Model 250 engine was developed by Allison Engine Company in the early 1960s.

It proved to be highly successful. In 1995 Allison Engine Company was acquired by Rolls-Royce and this engine was re-branded.


Shahed 285C a maritime patrol and anti-ship version. It lacks machine gun, but is fitted with a search and track radar. It detects ships at a range of 30-40 km. This helicopter is fitted with two Kowsar or eight Sadid-1 anti-ship missiles.

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