Barrage ammunition, also called kamikaze UAVs, which are unmanned aids launched both from the ground and from air and sea carriers, which, in addition to reconnaissance and surveillance equipment, are also equipped with a warhead integrated with the aircraft itself more prevalent in various countries of the world.
The development of barrage ammunition seems to be due to a number of reasons.
Rapidly developing military actions in contemporary conflicts significantly increase the role of systems that can lead to a reduction in the “detection-defeat” cycle. Barrage ammunition works just to solve this problem, combining the functions of reconnaissance, observation and destruction. In addition, due to the same circumstance, such decisions are more precise and more selective. weaponsthan, for example, artillery systems, which leads to a reduction in collateral civilian casualties.
Additionally, Drones- "kamikaze" in their accuracy indicators are superior to unguided aerial bombs. At the same time, the task is solved without risk for the crews of manned aircraft - carriers of classical bomb weapons.
In general, it can be said that locking ammunition to a certain extent is an alternative to weapon-equipped drone, representing a much simpler and cheaper system.
As a result, in general, the fairly well-known idea of anti-burglary ammunition, on the wave of advances in the development of microelectronics technology, radio and optoelectronics, received a new surge of development, resulting in the emergence of a number of new systems with different technical characteristics in various technologically developed countries of the world.
Perhaps, Harpy was developed by Israel Aviation Industries (currently Isarael Aerospace Industries - IAI), the Harpy system developed by Israel’s Israeli defense system, one of the first anti-bomber ammunition systems on the market. The first flight took place in 1989 year.
The delpy-wing Harpy 2 M-scale unit has a take-off weight of 125 kg. A Wankel UEL AR731 rotary-piston engine was originally used as a power plant, and a high-explosive fragmentation warhead was located at the head of the drone. Launch - from container launcher using solid-state accelerators. The maximum flight duration is 3 hours.
In September 2009, the Indian Air Force, bought 100 modified systems for the 10 million, called Harop (about it a little lower). Also, this system was supplied to the Armed Forces of Israel, China, Turkey, Chile, South Korea. A modified version of Harpy was offered to the UK as part of the IFPA program.
In the development of the Harpy project in 2001 – 2005, IAI created the Harop UAV. His first public show was held at 2009 at the Aero India air show. Conceptually, the device is similar to its predecessor, but it is built according to the “duck” scheme, has a different form of fuselage and a more complex wing shape with a 3 span. In addition to the radar homing head, it is also equipped with an IAI Tamam optical-electronic surveillance system developed on a rotating turret. The launch of the UAV is made from a container launcher placed on various carriers.
The wingspan of the apparatus is about 3 m, and the take-off weight is 135 kg. The UAV is also equipped with a rotary-piston engine that drives the pusher propeller. It was reported that the device can fly for a duration of up to six hours at ranges up to 1000 km. A system other than Israel was also supplied to India and Azerbaijan. Apparently, the first combat use of this UAV was its use during armed clashes of 1 – 4 on April 2016 in Nagorno-Karabakh.
It is also known that IAI is developing a lighter version of the Harop UAV. It was reported that its dimensions will be five times smaller compared to Harop. A lighter warhead will weigh about 3 – 4 kg. The flight duration will be 2 – 3 hours. It is not excluded that it may become the ancestor of a new family of small-sized antiques ammunition.
Specializes in creating a kamikaze UAV and another Israeli company - UVision. The lineup of Hero's anti-burglar ammunition systems currently offered by the company includes six models.
The three lighter Hero 30, Hero 70 and Hero 120 systems are for short and short range systems. They are all made with a cruciform wing and a cruciform tail. As the power plant on each of the UAV used electric motor. All variants have low acoustic and thermal unmasking features.
The portable tactical system Hero 30 weighing 3 kg has a warhead weighing 0,5 kg. The maximum flight duration is 30 minutes, the range is 5 – 40 km. The main purpose is called action against enemy manpower. Developers are planning in the future to present a special version of this system for US customers. Hero 70 with a take-off weight of 7 kg and a warhead weighing 1,2 kg can operate at distances up to 40 km, barraging for 45 minutes. It can be used against enemy vehicles. The third model - BLA 120 Hero 12,5 kg - carries 3,5-kilogram warhead, which makes possible its use against various structures, as well as lightly armored vehicles. Its radius of action is the same as that of the previous model, and the flight duration can reach 60 minutes.
Three more of the six UVision development systems mentioned have improved tactical and technical characteristics and can be classified as medium-range systems. Unlike the three lower systems in the line, they are made according to the “high-wing” scheme. The tail plumage is also cruciform. All of them use gasoline-powered internal combustion engines.
The 25 kg Hero 250 UAV can carry out flights lasting up to 3 hours, carrying on board a combat load weighing 5 kg. The range is 150 km. The heavier Hero 400 with a take-off mass of 40 kg already has a flight duration of at least 4 hours with the same range. An integrated warhead weighing 8 kg allows the use of this system against a wide range of operational targets, among which the company, in particular, mentions Tanks and other armored vehicles. Finally, the Hero 900 is closing the UAV’s second UAV troika. At the moment, this is the heaviest ammunition in the company's lineup. Its take-off weight is 97 kg, including a 20-pound warhead. According to the development company, the UAV’s flight duration is 7 hours, and the range reaches 250 km, which, however, seems somewhat optimistic.
Another Israeli company, Aeronautics Defense Systems, known for its development in the field of UAV systems, has supplemented its Orbiter 1K range of its UAVs with patronizing ammunition. The device is designed to defeat a variety of targets at tactical depth, including enemy manpower, as well as mobile and stationary targets, including lightly armored ones.
The development is based on Orbiter 2 UAV and has a high degree of unification with it. The device is made according to the “flying wing” scheme. The motor rotates the pushing screw. The range is from 50 km to 100 km. The onboard weight of 2,5 kg includes a Controp STAMP optoelectronic / infrared camera and a high-explosive fragmentation warhead that “delivers special tungsten balls”. The system has a task termination mode and a return to the place of launch.
In the United States, there are also several ammunition project, mainly of a small class. So, the well-known developer of unmanned systems AeroVironment company offers an unmanned aerial vehicle, "Kamikaze" Switchblade. The device is made with a folding tandem wing. The launch is carried out from the launch tube. The total weight of the system is only 2,5 kg. The device can fly for up to 10 minutes at a distance of up to 10 km from the operator. This system is already in service with the US Army. There have also been experiments to evaluate the possibilities of using various carriers for this UAV, including aviation and marine.
Engaged in works on loot ammunition and the company Lockheed Martin. So, the rocket division of the company developed the Terminator system. Initially, the device was planned to create a twin-screw sredneplan with a straight wing. However, in 2015, the company showed a completely redesigned project of this UAV. It is a single-engine unit with a low wing, tail fins in the form of an inverted V. It has been reported that it is made using nylon-based 3D printing technology. The launch is made from the shipping container (Terminator-in-Tube concept - TNT). A two-channel surveillance system is installed at the head of the UAV. It was reported that the system can use a variety of warheads, including fragmentation and thermobaric.
Textron, also involved in work on UAV systems, developed BattleHawk warp ammunition with a parabolic wing with a span of about 0,7 m. It is a lightweight portable system with a total weight of less than 4,5 kg starting device, which is a solution that combines 40-mm fragmentation Textron high-explosive grenade and Prioria Robotics' Maveric mini-UAV. It was first shown in 2011 year. A high-resolution surveillance system is installed on board to track moving targets, as well as to guide them. Start is carried out by means of a launch tube. Flight duration is about 30 minutes, range - 5 km.
Among Western European countries, perhaps the most illustrative example is the MBDA company, which is a joint venture of BAE Systems, Airbus Group and Finmeccanica. Here, from the end of the 1990-ies, the development of fire shadow ammunition Fire Shadow was conducted for the needs of the Ministry of Defense of Great Britain. The BLA with an take-off weight of about 200 kg takes off from a ground platform from a catapult or from a launch canister. The wing of the device is collapsible, the console unfolds in flight position during takeoff. According to the developer, if necessary, the device can patrol in a given area for up to 6 hours.
In the spring of 2008, the first flight of the Fire Shadow unit was performed, which confirmed the characteristics laid down by the developer. As a result, in June of the same year, the Ministry of Defense of Great Britain signed a contract with MBDA for the further development of the system. In 2012, MBDA announced the start of mass production of Fire Shadow. In the same year, the first batch of 25 systems was delivered, but combat use, which was supposed to be carried out in Afghanistan, according to the available data, did not happen.
In addition to this project with a rather heavy UAV, MBDA also offered locking ammunition based on a mini-UAV with an inflatable wing and an electric motor. The TiGER (Tactical Grenade Extended Range) was equipped with two 40-mm grenades. Flight duration and range were extremely short - a few minutes and about 3 km, respectively.
Relevant developments are underway in Eastern Europe. So, the Polish company WB Electronics offers anti-burglar ammunition with Warmate modular payload. It was first shown to the public in 2014. A small unit with a take-off weight of 4 kg with a folding wing is launched from a special container. Warmate can be used both against enemy personnel and against lightly armored vehicles. In addition to the optical-electronic surveillance system of the Polish development, the device can also use both cumulative and high-explosive fragmentation warheads. The range is 10 km, and the maximum flight duration, which can be performed in automatic, semi-automatic, or manual modes, is 30 minutes. As far as we know, the company, in addition to the Polish Armed Forces, has already supplied these systems to Ukraine. According to reports, they were used during the fighting in the Donbass. There are plans to promote these systems and further in the post-Soviet space.
It is curious that some developments in the field of anti-burglary ammunition are available in neighboring Belarus. At the exhibition "Army-2016" was shown a prototype of a similar apparatus developed by SPC "Unmanned aircraft systems and technologies", which is supposed to be used from the board of the Burevestnik UAV (one under each wing console). The mass of patrol ammunition is 26 kg, including 10-kilogram warhead. As reported, when starting from a carrier at an altitude of 3,5 km, the range will be at least 36 km.
DEMANDED ON THE PLANET
Barrage ammunition is currently one of the promising areas in the development of unmanned aircraft systems. They are well suited to perform tasks that require prompt action in a rapidly changing combat environment. In anticipation of further progress in the development of loot ammunition, companies from a number of technologically developed countries of the world are developing such systems. Some of them are conducted with the financial support of the military departments of the countries concerned, and some - in an initiative manner at their own expense. However, today we can say that the development of technologies has made it possible to bring their capabilities to a level that suggests that this direction will have good prospects and show further growth.
Kamikaze drones are gaining popularity in the world
- Denis Fedutinov