The fate of the Russian shock drones can tackle the new state armaments program

Unmanned aerial vehicle Tu-300


RIA Novosti

The Russian army has about two thousand unmanned aerial vehicles for various purposes. On Monday in an interview with “Krasnaya Zvezda” reported Deputy Secretary of the Russian security Council Mikhail Popov. Daily operation and combat use of drones the military personnel involved 36 specially formed units. As emphasized by the priests, they had started serious development in the last five or six years.

Today, the Russian military used more than a dozen models of UAVs, primarily for reconnaissance and targeting. Has its own UAVs and other law enforcement agencies — in particular, Regardie, the Federal border service of the FSB and the emergencies Ministry. This technique is well proven as in war and in civilian life. However, in a number of areas in the field of unmanned aviation, we from the West are lagging behind.

Forgotten direction

Prospective program of Soviet military drones have been seriously affected by the lack of money of the 90-ies. The USSR had developed the machine that today would not look pale compared to modern Western drones. For example, the Tu-300, has committed a test flight in 1991, could become the first domestic impact of UAV tactical level. With weight of four tons he could lift into the air up to one ton payload: reconnaissance equipment, communication systems, aerial bombs. Thanks to the powerful jet-engine drone was overclocked to 900 km/hour at altitudes up to 6,000 meters and was able to work away from the operator up to 300 kilometers. An ambitious program was closed due to lack of funding and bias of some military commanders.

“This is a direct fault of the leadership of the Ministry of defence, which in those years simply did not understand the importance of drones and their role in modern military conflicts, — told RIA Novosti chief editor of the magazine “national defense” Igor Korotchenko. They are unable to draw the correct conclusions from the trends of development of military-technical progress. In the end this direction for many years we actually did not develop”.

The situation began to change only after the armed conflict in South Ossetia in August 2008 in which Russian troops had to identify the position of the enemy forces heavy aircraft. This has led to a number of serious miscalculations: 9 Aug anti-aircraft missile was shot down a Tu-22M3 carrying out a reconnaissance mission in the skies over the Republic. Fortunately, the military leadership of Russia has made the right conclusions and in April 2009 bought two Israeli tactical UAV Searcher-II for $ 12 million. And on 13 October 2010 was signed a contract worth 300 million on the Assembly Searcher-II of Israeli components to the Kazan helicopter plant. Licensing the Russian version got the name “Outpost”.

“By the time the drones that gave us Israel, were not the new, — said Korotchenko. — However, we had the opportunity to study them well. But the real impetus to the domestic school of UAVs received in 2013, when defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visited a major exhibition of drones in the Pacific. His interest in robotics is well known. And it was then that he instructed the defense to develop a whole family of Russian drones for military purposes”.

The tactical level

Production of the new UAV was able to establish in the shortest possible time. In 2013 the series went to a tactical drone “Orlan-10”, capable of take-off weight 14 kg 16 hours to work on the removal of 120 kilometers from the operator. This machine can not only take photos and video of ground objects, and transmit the targeting of artillery, to participate in electronic warfare, to work in adverse weather conditions. “Eagle” integrated into a single system tactical control (ESU TZ) and is able in real time to give a “picture” with their cameras all friendly units. These drones, along with “Outposts”, are actively used by the Russian military in Syria for reconnaissance and video recording of the results of air strikes.

Over the years, troops were able to send hundreds more lightweight drone that can be launched into the air, literally, with murder. These include “Aileron-3SV”, “Granat”, “Zastava”, “Tachyon” and others. They are able to act at a relatively small distance from the operator, but more from those drones and is not required. They are ideal for use reconnaissance in force on the territory of the enemy. Such systems are used, in particular, members of special operations Forces in Syria.

“In the field of tactical and operational-tactical UAV the situation is generally good, — said Igor Korotchenko. — However, we are seriously lagging behind several countries in other areas. We have not as a class strategical strike and reconnaissance drones. And ahead of us is not only NATO countries, but also in the UAE. Recently, it was reported that we are going to buy from them shock drones. But it’s not going our defense good. Need to bring own development”.

The fate of “the drummer”

One of the most promising projects is intelligence long-range drone “Altius-M” — the brainchild of Kazan OKB im. M. P. Simonov. Work on it began in 2011. According to the declared tactical and technical characteristics of the drone can rise to a height of 12 kilometers and fly at an average speed of 200 km/hour at a distance of 10,000 kilometers in two days. He will be able to raise in the air a ton of useful load, which in theory will allow you to develop on the basis of the shock modification.

However, the future of this project very little is known. In early may of 2017, Kazan aircraft manufacturers proposed on the basis of “Altius” to create a civil version of the “Altair” to monitor pipelines, power lines, water areas, forests and so on. It is not excluded that this step OKB. M. Simonov has gone because of lack of funding more difficult and costly program impact machine.

Unclear fate and unmanned “drummer” “Dozor-600” from the St. Petersburg company “Transas”, which many experts considered it very similar to the American MQ-1 Predator. According to the developer, this machine belongs to the class of medium-heavy drone with a long flight. He can stay in the air for more than a day and hit the targets with missiles and bombs at a distance of up to 3400 kilometers from the operator. However, new information about this car not in the public domain in 2013.

Another “unfinished” — reconnaissance and combat UAV “Scat”, a joint work which led OKB “MiG” and “Klimov”. The first full-scale model of the drone was presented at MAKS in 2007. Later it was reported that work on the project ceased, however, in December 2015, the General Director of RAC “MiG” Sergei Korotkov told journalists that based on the “Stingray” is planned to build a new car. About her external appearance and technical characteristics to judge too early, but we know that its weight may be about five tons.

Perhaps the light future Russian attack unmanned aircraft will shed a draft state armaments Program for the years 2018-2025, the Ministry of defense will present to the President of the country in early July. In late March, a source in the Russian Military-industrial Commission, familiar with the text of the document, told reporters that the focus of the new SAP will be placed on serial procurement of “intelligent weapons systems”: means of communication, robototekhniki, precision weapons and, of course, today’s drones. So the “Dozor-600”, “Altius-M” and the machine on the basis of the fall have quite the chance in the future to stand on the wing.