The experimental attack helicopter looks like alien technology.
Images from an aviation expo in China show a new Chinese military aircraft that looks strikingly like a flying saucer out of a vintage UFO movie.
Last week, photos started circulating online of a craft with an alien-looking outer shell and a central cockpit. By Friday, the state-run Chinese newspaper Global Times had seemingly confirmed that the vehicle is an experimental attack helicopter dubbed the Great White Shark, which could fly as soon as 2020.
A detailed analysis of the project by The Drive — including a translation of a placard that accompanied the craft at the expo — argues that the vehicle probably generates lift using a 16-foot rotor that's armored by its outer shell, while two jet engines provide forward thrust.
The Drive also points out that the futuristic craft isn't the first to feature a circular, saucer-like design — although military contractors have struggled to make the concept practical over the battlefield.
One thing's for sure: the concept shows that China, like the United States, is trying to figure out what form the attack helicopters of the future will take.
READ MORE: Flying saucer-like attack helicopter to take to the sky in 2020 [Global Times]
More on flying saucers: These Guys Built a Flying Saucer That Actually Flies Pretty Well