Military Review

UAV project "Pterodactyl": an additional means of observation for tanks

Characteristic problem tanks, still not fully resolved, is a relatively poor overview of the surrounding area. Previously, such problems were solved using a set of optical devices installed on various parts of the combat vehicle, including as part of a commander’s turret. To date, optoelectronic systems have appeared and developed. Nevertheless, for various reasons, a review from the workplace of the crew of armored vehicles may leave much to be desired. Not so long ago, a new proposal appeared regarding the improvement of the review. As an additional means of studying the situation, it is proposed to use a special unmanned aerial vehicle, which is part of the onboard equipment of the armored car.

A few days ago it became known about a new domestic project implying the acquisition of promising tanks with a drone. 18 November edition of "Izvestia" published an article "Armata" will arm reconnaissance drones ", which described one of the original developments of domestic experts. The unusual element of the onboard equipment of the tank is developed by specialists of the Moscow Aviation Institute. It is assumed that the original unmanned vehicle will improve the situational awareness of promising T-14 tanks built on the basis of the Armata platform.

According to press reports, the UAV project called "Pterodactyl" was developed by the department "aviation robotic systems »MAI. Currently, the authors of the project are engaged in experimental design work. The general appearance of the apparatus and methods of its use have already been formed. In addition, some original ideas were worked out and tested during testing. Work continues to improve the already created design, the purpose of which is to facilitate the aircraft and increase the mass of the payload. It is planned to complete the ongoing work within a year. After that, prototypes of Pterodactyl and other equipment necessary for their use will be transferred to the Ministry of Defense.

The T-14 tank is a possible carrier of the Pterodactyl UAV. Photo of Wikimedia Commons

The article of the Izvestia newspaper reveals some technical details of the project that are of great interest. UAV "Pterodactyl" is proposed to build on the tiltrotor. It should be equipped with rotating propeller groups, thereby obtaining unique flight data. Depending on the position of the propellers, the drone will be able to hover on the spot or perform maneuvers typical of helicopters. In addition, it will be provided with horizontal flight "in an airplane". Depending on the tasks and features of the existing situation, the operator of the unmanned system will be able to choose the most appropriate mode of operation of the aircraft.

From the point of view of practical application, the instrument convertoplane is of interest due to the possibility of alternately using the main flight modes. Thus, the vertical take-off will be useful for launching vehicles from a mobile platform in the form of a tank. The possibility of high-speed flight, in turn, will allow to accompany the armored vehicle, regardless of the characteristics of its movements. Thus, in theory, the crew of the tank at any time can launch a reconnaissance UAV that will accompany the land vehicle for the required time.

Within the framework of the Pterodactyl project, it was proposed to ease the design of the device and improve some of its performance characteristics by eliminating its own power supply systems. In accordance with the idea of ​​designers from the MAI, there will not be large and heavy batteries on board the drone. Instead, the cable connecting the UAV and the carrier tank will be used to power the electric motors. Due to this, all systems of generation and transmission of electricity will be located on board the land vehicle, which has no strict weight limits.

Driving a promising drone is also proposed using a cable line. Commands from the operator’s console will come on board the apparatus using wires connected to the power cables. Similarly, the video signal and information from various on-board systems should be transmitted to the ground. Wired control of the aircraft allows to reduce its flight mass due to the lack of a receiver and equipment for processing radio signals. In addition, in contrast to the traditional radio channel for a UAV, a wired communication system cannot be detected by means of electronic reconnaissance and suppressed using electronic warfare systems.

According to the latest data, the UAV "Pterodactyl" will carry optical-electronic equipment, including a thermal imager. It also proposes the use of small-sized radar. It is argued that the apparatus of the new type will be able to rise to a height of several tens of meters and be removed at a distance of 50-100 m from the vehicle. Using optical instruments and radar, the drone will be able to monitor the surrounding terrain and perform the detection of various targets. The time of continuous work in the air will be the maximum possible due to the use of power supply from the carrier.

Established standard means of observation of modern and advanced tanks are located at a height of no more than a few meters above the ground. This allows you to do without overly complex design solutions, but significantly limits the range of observation. Carrying out an optoelectronic unit and a radar station on a drone capable of rising to a height of several tens of meters will increase the size of the observation zone accordingly. It should be particularly noted that the new project of the Moscow Aviation Institute proposes the use of not only optical reconnaissance equipment, but also radar equipment.

The control of the Pterodactyl apparatus should be carried out from the console installed in the manned compartment of the base armored vehicle. Thus, the pilot or commander of the tank will control the drone, one of whose tasks is to monitor the situation and search for targets. A screen that outputs a video signal or data from a small-sized unmanned radar can be a good addition to the standard means of observation.

Representatives of the developer organization claim that by now some tests have been carried out on individual elements and ideas used in a promising project. In particular, in the laboratory was tested so-called. tethering scheme involving the connection of the armored vehicle and the unmanned vehicle with a flexible cable with separate conductors for the supply of electricity, commands and signals from the means of observation. Now the authors of the project are working to reduce the mass of the structure and increase the load capacity. Such improvements will improve certain characteristics of a technical and operational nature.

At the completion of the required work of the authors of the project "Pterodactyl" will take some time. Over the next year, it is planned to complete development work, prepare the necessary documentation, as well as build and test experimental equipment. After that, the prototypes of the prospective UAV are planned to be transferred to the Ministry of Defense for the necessary tests.

The new project being created at the Moscow Aviation Institute suggests the practical application of several original ideas that can significantly enhance certain characteristics of existing or prospective armored vehicles. In particular, the newest main tank T-14 is called as the main carrier of the Pterodactyl UAV and the corresponding equipment. At the same time, however, there is reason to believe that such a technique can also be used to upgrade existing serial armored vehicles of one type or another.

The characteristic capabilities acquired by tanks when using a new complex with an unmanned aerial vehicle, in theory, can significantly change the potential of armored vehicles. Working in open areas, tanks with “Pterodactyls” will be able to conduct surveillance within a large area, producing timely detection of potentially dangerous objects. Modern communications and control systems will also allow tanks to exchange information on the situation on the battlefield, increasing the overall effectiveness of the combat operations of the formation.

Also, additional surveillance tools may be useful when fighting in urban environments. In the presence of a mass of buildings and structures that limit the free space, the existing drawbacks of tanks in the form of a limited view appear especially bright. The addition of existing optical and opto-electronic devices to an unmanned aerial vehicle will significantly improve the potential of the armored vehicle in terms of target detection.

Nevertheless, like many other developments, the new project is not without flaws. Some of them can be identified already at the stage of consideration of the proposed concept. Some features of the “tethered” drone can be considered flaws, while others may be subject to controversy. Nevertheless, all these features of the project are inherent to its features, and the elimination of such shortcomings may entail a major overhaul of the main ideas and solutions.

The main reason for claims is already at the level of the concept of the new project itself can be considered the use of wired communication between the carrier and the unmanned aerial vehicle. With all its advantages, the flexible cable is not protected from bullets and fragments, which can be damaged at any time during the battle. Damage to one or more of the conductors from the composition of such a cable will lead to the fact that the drone can lose the possibility of further use of onboard equipment or simply fall, remaining without electricity for the main motors. It should be noted that the flexible cable offered in the Pterodactyl project, by definition, cannot be protected from existing threats, which leads to the need to find other solutions.

Damage to one or another of the wires should lead to a stop of the engine or loss of control. Without thrust and control the UAV will not be able to solve the assigned tasks or simply fall to the ground. Protection against this can be redundancy of control systems at the expense of additional devices for transmitting commands over the air channel and supplementing the power plant with backup batteries. However, in the event of such a revision, the aircraft loses one of its main advantages - the relative simplicity of the design.

Robotic complex "Whirlwind", above the tower visible reconnaissance drone. Photo

From the point of view of survivability in a combat situation, a certain combination of the proposed design of the apparatus and the method of its application raises certain doubts. Not being able to move away from the carrier tank at a distance of more than a few tens of meters and being at a relatively low altitude, the UAV of the original appearance can be a convenient target for the enemy. The absence of any means of protection will allow enemy shooters to fire at it with a high probability of destruction. Also, the drone can be a victim of a random bullet or shard.

The problem of low survivability of a light unmanned aerial vehicle can hardly be solved by equipping equipment with ballistic protection means. Thus, the only real way to preserve the possibility of monitoring the situation at high risks of loss of equipment can be the introduction of several UAVs into the complex. In case of loss of one crew of the carrier tank will be able to lift into the air another.

It should be noted that the Pterodactyl project is not the first domestic development of its class. During the international military-technical forum "Army-2016", held in September of this year, the Main Research and Testing Center for Robotics of the Ministry of Defense showed for the first time its new development, which uses similar ideas. The new whirlwind robotic complex is based on the BMP-3 infantry combat vehicle, however, it is characterized by the mass of new devices and assemblies.

To solve some problems, the operators of the Whirlwind complex can use several unmanned vehicles with different characteristics. So, for reconnaissance, it is proposed to use a drone with six rotors, connected with a carrier vehicle using a flexible cable. Declared the possibility of lifting to a height of 30 m, which greatly increases the possibility of observing the terrain. It was alleged that by the beginning of the Army-2016 exhibition, the Whirlwind complex had passed preliminary tests and showed itself well.

Thus, at the moment it is already known about two domestic projects of equipping armored vehicles with a “tethered” UAV, necessary for conducting surveillance. In both cases, according to the available data, the original concept confirmed its capabilities in the framework of certain tests. Due to this, the development of interesting ideas can continue until the completion of the development work and the development of new technology by the troops.

Fighting robotic complex "Whirlwind" has already reached the full test, during which, apparently, showed all the capabilities of the UAV, connected to the carrier with a cable. In the foreseeable future, another similar development will have to be tested. The draft MAI called “Pterodactyl” proposes the use of a number of interesting ideas that can positively affect the characteristics and combat capabilities of both individual combat vehicles and entire units. Whether the new Pterodactyl project will cope with the tasks set and whether the hopes placed on it will justify - time will tell. The authors of this development claim that the experimental equipment will be transferred to the Ministry of Defense in about a year.

On the materials of the sites:

Subscribe to our Telegram channel, regularly additional information about the special operation in Ukraine, a large amount of information, videos, something that does not fall on the site:

Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
    RASKAT 30 November 2016 15: 13
    You give a third-person view on Russian tanks.
    And who will be responsible for his management, probably the commander?
    1. marshes
      marshes 30 November 2016 15: 38
      Quote: RASKAT
      And who will be responsible for his management, probably the commander?

      For KShM based on Almaty the most that.
      And the tank itself is not bad with a telescopic "periscope".
      1. RASKAT
        RASKAT 30 November 2016 15: 41
        I don’t know how UAVs will show themselves in tanks, but reconnaissance vehicles need to be equipped without fail, the machine itself in shelter and the UAV is reconnaissance. Designer Well done, keep it up good
        1. marshes
          marshes 30 November 2016 15: 44
          Quote: RASKAT
          I don’t know how UAVs will show themselves in tanks, but reconnaissance vehicles need to be equipped without fail, the machine itself in shelter and the UAV is reconnaissance

          "Extra eyes" will not hurt.
        2. Basarev
          Basarev 24 July 2017 21: 00
          Why, then, the reconnaissance vehicles themselves? If all the time they will press on the cracks, and the drone does all the work?
      2. Proton
        Proton 30 November 2016 18: 05
        And torpedo tubes ..
    2. GSH-18
      GSH-18 30 November 2016 16: 21
      It is also proposed to control a promising drone using a cable communication line.

      Let's say the tank goes between / under the trees or along the streets, where there are a lot of poles with wires, etc. etc.
      Who will periodically unhook the hose? lol
      1. Cat man null
        Cat man null 30 November 2016 16: 31
        Quote: GSH-18
        Who will periodically unhook the hose?

        - none
        - Pterodaptel must be smart as a guide dog, and lead yourself blind a tank so that he does not drop into the bushes laughing

        But in general - this one is already sick pterrodapteleWed @ h About nothing. The second article is already here in a couple of weeks, and it’s still not clear - nothing pterodaptel knows how, no one controls it ... About nothing
        1. GSH-18
          GSH-18 30 November 2016 19: 11
          Quote: Cat Man Null
          The second article is already here in a couple of weeks, and it’s still incomprehensible that neither the pterodapter can do it, nor who controls it ... Nothing about

          About that and that. The pterochryapple contraption for the T-14 is certainly very necessary, but they hastened, as usual recently, to announce its creation, when R&D was still underway request
        2. GSH-18
          GSH-18 30 November 2016 19: 14
          Quote: Cat Man Null
          - none
          - The pterodaptel must be smart as a guide dog, and lead a blind tank himself so that he does not drop into the bushes

          And why are there tady tankers, since there is such a smart pterodapter? lol
          1. Basarev
            Basarev 24 July 2017 21: 03
            In general, this cable is another very indicative sign of Russia's backwardness in drones. Israel or the United States succeeds in creating capacious and light power sources, but Russia does not. So you have to use the ideas of the war. In exactly the same way, the German mine Goliath was fed, by wire.
  2. ben gun
    ben gun 30 November 2016 15: 30
    Firstly, yes, who controls. The second is important, and if it is dropped by interrupting the cable, and most importantly, in a helicopter on a rope, unmasking. I saw a helicopter on a rope, yeah .. Somewhere here the Russians ...
    1. GSH-18
      GSH-18 30 November 2016 19: 15
      Quote: ben gun
      I saw a helicopter on a rope, yeah .. Somewhere here the Russians ...

      Yeah, the hoses won't fit ... wassat
      1. Basarev
        Basarev 24 July 2017 21: 04
        And the helicopter itself is very similar to copters from a toy store.
  3. pimen
    pimen 30 November 2016 15: 45
    the idea is a good one, only we must strive for miniaturization, if not the size of a dragonfly, then at least a small bird
    1. GSH-18
      GSH-18 30 November 2016 19: 16
      Quote: pimen
      the idea is a good one, only we must strive for miniaturization, if not the size of a dragonfly, then at least a small bird

      Here it is necessary to guess with the size, otherwise it can blow away with the wind lol
      1. Strength
        Strength 30 November 2016 20: 32
        The main thing is that the male Siberian Crane would not have confused him with the female. laughing
  4. gorgo
    gorgo 30 November 2016 15: 53
    The idea itself is very good, but ... As for me, flying on a wire is completely stupid. Firstly, it can really be interrupted by a fragment or something else. Secondly, the inability to fly further than several tens of meters immediately unmasks the car. And not just unmask. Lacing gives even target designation. Thirdly, on a lace it will be possible to fly exclusively in the open area. That is, the forest is excluded. And in general I am silent about the city - it will be simply impossible there - everywhere wires, poles and so on.
    Further. Why complicate the design with revolving screws? Why would a drone have the ability to fly at speeds over 100 km / h? The same armata, for example, can drive 80 km / h (or how much is there?), But this is the maximum speed, on the highway! Where, in what situation does the tank need to fly across the intersection faster than 50 km / h? So not to throw at 100 m when maneuvering, namely for a long time? I can’t imagine such a thing.
    The main thing is, I don't understand. Already today you can buy a quadrocopter for 500-800 dollars, which flies on a battery for 20 minutes, develops a speed of 50 km / h and is equipped with a good video camera. Is it really such a problem to do something like this? After all, it is needed for basic things - to raise it by 100 m, look around, make a circle over the terrain, look around the corner of a building, behind a barricade or a wall ... Even these functions already give the crew additional eyes in the air. Add night vision, a thermal imager can, something else ... Let it fly due to the battery capacity - not 20, but 10 minutes. I returned it to the "base" and immediately load it - no problem.
    1. marshes
      marshes 30 November 2016 16: 01
      Quote: gorgo
      The main thing, I do not understand. Already today you can buy a quadrocopter for 500-800 dollars, which flies on a battery for 20 minutes, has a speed of 50 km / h and is equipped with a good video camera. Is it really such a problem to do something like this?

      In the case of using electronic warfare means, it will become a trophy of the enemy. By the way, "devices" have become very compact.
      1. gorgo
        gorgo 30 November 2016 16: 12
        We are not talking about a massive drone raid on the enemy's fortifications ... This is not a strategic bomber. Every soldier or crew will not have electronic warfare equipment at hand, like "what if the drone flies." This is a matter of several minutes: I drove up to the village from the side of the forest, raised the drone, flew 300 m deep into the village, looked around for activity, the presence of armored vehicles and manpower, fortified firing points, transmitted video in real time, returned - that's all. This business takes 3-5 minutes, no more. And when attacking with a tank wedge and breaking through an echeloned defense after an hour of artillery preparation, no drones are needed.
        1. marshes
          marshes 30 November 2016 16: 28
          Quote: gorgo
          We are not talking about a massive drone attack on the enemy fortified area ...

          The tank against whom it is being created, against a serious potential enemy, whose electronic warfare equipment will be at a high level. But not only dirty tricks will block the control signal and video images, the same radio communication and topographic reference system. So it will work with wires With the help of a Pterodactyl, one can not only look around without leaving the car, but also determine the area.
          By the way, I’m not writing for the benefit of the pterodactyl, the first post appeared as the initial news on the site. Then, as a motorist-hunter, I would like such a thing.
          At work, we remembered how they called from a cell phone, using a bluetooth headset and a telescopic fishing rod smile in difficult terrain.
    2. ohtandur
      ohtandur 30 November 2016 16: 27
      I agree, the wire will be more in the way than helping. As I understand it, in this version it is effective in an open area and the enemy is far away or a single tank hunt and seek out single enemies. In close combat, the drone can be shot down with conventional small arms. A tiltrotor - right. A helicopter is not capable of flying in all weather conditions. But if the wire is redundant, the wire will hold the drone. I also believe that tankers need a one-time picture. He flew out, saw, transmitted and returned. This will increase the survival of the drone. Tankers with the received picture are already working. This is, for example, a flight every 15 minutes in a very active battle. It is unlikely that during this period the picture will change fatally. In the air, let the drone stay in emergency cases for up to half an hour. Maybe this is feasible with current technology. As for electronic warfare, this threat will be less likely than the physical destruction of the drone. And if it’s in trouble, then the tank itself will have a hard time, not like a drone. Here is my humble opinion
      1. gorgo
        gorgo 30 November 2016 16: 45
        And what kind of weather conditions should there be so that an ordinary quadrocopter cannot be raised? Heavy snow? ... So a screw tiltrotor will face the same problems ... Sticking on screws and stuff. I don’t see the need ...
        1. GSH-18
          GSH-18 30 November 2016 19: 18
          Quote: gorgo
          And what kind of weather conditions should there be so that an ordinary quadrocopter cannot be raised? Heavy snow? ... So a screw tiltrotor will face the same problems ... Sticking on screws and stuff. I don’t see the need ...

          On such sizes, everything is much simpler and solvable. yes
          And the thing is really breakthrough and really necessary! UVZ designers are great. Let's wish them luck to bubble up a really cool, reliable and useful drone for the T-14 good
          Feel how the Russian Federation is becoming a trendsetter in world tank building ?! Pride in the country takes!
      2. max702
        max702 2 January 2017 10: 31
        In terms of intelligence, it is necessary to equip a BM with several UAVs; the price allows it, the tank costs 5-7 million trained crew no less, and the addition of 10-25 thousand in the form of UAVs does not affect its expediency from an economic point of view. A UAV should have the ability to AUTOMATIC take-off and landing, an automatic return function to the base, three pieces are enough, the ability to control the wire will be a good help when moving in a column and at block posts, nothing beyond the natural equipment of a UAV is necessary, a good camera, with a night the mode, in principle, is enough, a laser rangefinder would be nice ... A thermal imager, radar and other high-tech equipment will sharply raise the cost, and whether this will be a question .. By and large, this UAV consumable should not be expensive ..
    3. GSH-18
      GSH-18 30 November 2016 19: 17
      Quote: gorgo
      The idea itself is very good, but ... As for me, flying on a wire is completely stupid. Firstly, it can really be interrupted by a fragment or something else. Secondly, the inability to fly further than several tens of meters immediately unmasks the car. And not just unmask. Lacing gives even target designation. Thirdly, on a lace it will be possible to fly exclusively in the open area. That is, the forest is excluded. And in general I am silent about the city - it will be simply impossible there - everywhere wires, poles and so on.

      I immediately said: hose sucks! yes
      1. ILDM1986
        ILDM1986 8 December 2016 20: 43
        and why or or? Is it really impossible with a wire to accompany a combat vehicle and a wireless mode for 20-30 minutes if there is a need to fly to the side?
  5. abc_alex
    abc_alex 30 November 2016 17: 41
    But in my opinion the idea is sound. And with the cable too.
    The objections in the article are, of course, logical, but they have quite practical solutions.
    Kill the cable? Of course, but on board the UAV, you can put a battery of small capacity and mass, which is only enough to land the device at a safe vertical speed, and as correctly noted in the article, to equip the tank with several UAVs.
    Movement through the forest headlong? Excuse me, how? Breaking through the virgin taiga? Where? :) Tanks are still not forestry combines, they move along roads and open terrain. Breaking through obstacles is rare. Here it is necessary to provide for a quick procedure for forced landing of the device (for the same cross-cable, without turning off the engine) and an equally fast rise.
    Who will manage? Nobody. What for? The device should simply maintain a given height, and the horizontal direction will be set by the tank. You can physically "drag" it by the cable, or you can use the command from the computer located in the tank. Even just raising the observation camera 10 meters above the tower, we get 12-15 kilometers to the horizon and an amazing view "from the top". Is this not enough for someone? Someone wants a drone to fly in front of the tank and look around the corner? Maybe we will still be realistic?
    Why is there a wire rope diagram? Well, in addition to the price, in my opinion, the matter is in the needs of the onboard complex that will be on the drone. A high-resolution camera, a radar, an infrared camera, plus engines and a control system ... If you do not engage in foolishness with a drone that once every half an hour will need to be put on a "docking station" for charging, but make a simple and reliable circuit that can work and an hour and two and three and in general how much is needed in isolation from the supply bases and will require the replacement of expensive high-capacity batteries every six months, then such a scheme suggests itself. In addition, in my opinion, a scheme for installing a target designation system for corrected ammunition of the Krasnopol type on a drone suggests itself. And this is a powerful laser.
    Is the drone unmasking the tank? Look what size the drone will be. If this is a meter-wide copter, then it will be difficult to visually make out from a kilometer away, especially if you do not paint it orange. And you still need to see who sees whom before, a tank with a drone through an optical and IR channel or an adversary with binoculars. :) Again, in motion, such a unmasking is not too fundamental, and in a static position for a drone, a regime of chaotic movement, like a fly, can be provided, it is only important that it can hold a given point with observation devices.

    In general, as I understand it, the proposed scheme is an analogue of the periscope on a submarine, and for this purpose the selected scheme is not at all a failure. It’s important only how exactly the drone’s devices will be integrated into the airborne complex of Almaty and what the drone will be able to do.
    1. viktor_ui
      viktor_ui 1 December 2016 11: 32
      Reasonable comment ... one of the very few unfortunately drinks This drone will be extremely useful for its functionality DIRECTLY before the "fight", to fix the location of "opponents". During the collision itself, it certainly will not be needed, because another drone, hanging at some distance from the place of the event, will pour additional information on the cards. And in general, any tactical unit simply must have such an "eye of God", FOR IF I SEE YOU FIRST IN BATTLE CONDITIONS, YOU ARE GUARANTEED ALREADY DIED, although you don't know about it. Pointless polemics about OBVIOUS.
    2. gorgo
      gorgo 1 December 2016 11: 56
      Yes, the tank does not climb through the taiga, but travels along the road. But do you understand that a forest road is usually blocked by tree branches from above? You and 50 meters will not pass along the forest road without catching the nearest pine tree with a cord from the drone. About the city, again, there is no question at all. There are obstacles and obstacles everywhere. Even on the 10 m that you are talking about, you will not rise.
      If you piloted a quadrocopter, then you know that even without a cord it is almost impossible to fly on it in the forest between the trees, even just along the forest road. In urban conditions, constant concentration and visual control are also needed, because wires, transmission lines and the like are not visible on the screen of the control panel. Sitting in a tank in combat, you will not have such visual control.
      To fly on a lace is simply unequivocal nonsense. It is suitable only in open areas, without obstacles. But then visibility is not bad without a drone. A drone is needed primarily where there is no direct view - mountains, forests, urban areas. And the cord in these conditions simply will not work. Raise it directly above the tank on the 10 m - and what will you see in the city? Direct street panorama?
      1. abc_alex
        abc_alex 1 December 2016 17: 29
        Did I say somewhere that a drone should not rise above 10 meters? :) I said that even raising it by 10 meters you will already receive a new tank quality as an over-the-horizon targeting system for artillery and an advantage in the aiming range in a tank battle.

        It is not convenient to navigate forest roads with the "raised periscope". But there is no particular need for this. To be honest, I can hardly imagine that in general it is possible to see from a drone on a forest road, on which branches of trees descend. It doesn't matter if this drone is tethered or autonomous. And yes, indeed, it is almost impossible to hold a drone between the trees in the forest. Here I agree. Although I also do not understand what can be seen from a drone in the forest, dodging between the trees.

        You have correctly noted everything about the city. But the drone's task is to fly at a distance of 50-100 meters from the tank. For a straight flight along the street at a low altitude (3-5 meters) "until the next turn" this is quite enough, and if the drone is able to move to the "point" of the laser designator at the command of the crew, then the task will be generally trivial. Further, we recall that tanks without infantry should not go in the city. This, in my opinion, removes the problem of "snagging the wires", no?

        And if you want to expand the horizon or get a top view, then you can raise the drone from a stop. In this case, urban development will serve as a shelter. You just need to raise the drone above the roofs and conduct instrumental reconnaissance? Is it really necessary to do this on the go? A drone hanging over the roofs can illuminate reconnaissance targets and direct artillery at them. Measure the distance to the enemy and give data for pointing mortars, for example.

        This is essentially a periscope, and you, in my opinion, expect a tank drone to function independently and reconnaissance and control the battlefield online. So? In my opinion, this is generally unrealistic, since no crew member can simultaneously monitor two data streams. And allocating an operator for such a drone is too much. Such a drone should simply provide the commander with a "top view" at his usual workplace, no more than an "eye" and not an independent organism.
        1. gorgo
          gorgo 1 December 2016 19: 17
          And so, and not so. I meant that a wireless drone can be lifted from a forest road where there are no obstacles, and then it can fly above the trees behind a car without fear of obstacles below. While a wired drone cannot do this, the cord will not allow it. The city is the same. And fly away from the car on 100 meters will not succeed in a large number of cases for the same reason. Just stand still and raise the drone for review - yes. But what if you urgently need to get out of place? Picked up and saw an enemy self-propelled guns around the corner, for example. You need to maneuver, and you have a drone hanging on a rope ... Of course, they can be sacrificed in such a situation, but if without a cord, then you don’t have to sacrifice.
          I understand that this is not a full-fledged scout, namely an extra eye that rises for 5-10 minutes and that's it. But if he is not tied to the car, then he does not fetter it in anything. He may well follow the base automatically, as can even civilian toy drones. It is convenient - raised above trees, roofs, barriers and everything, you go where you need to and look around the surroundings ... I pressed "return", the drone caught up with the car and that's it.
          It seems to me that much more convenient.
      2. t7310
        t7310 3 December 2016 20: 41
        because wires, transmission lines and the like are not visible on the screen of the control panel.

        from where the lace on the tank put the camera looking up, for reconnaissance wires, etc.
  6. Proton
    Proton 30 November 2016 18: 15
    I’m watching our designers and defenders have bitten something, I don’t understand what they want to do from an ordinary tank? the monster’s electronics, if all this machinery collapses at once with an electromagnetic impulse. Well, there won’t be any such tank battles right now. But to give the infantry different means, drones and so on. So to hang up any pteradactyls and other things, I think it's a bad idea, he won’t fly on a lace.
    Strengthen armor yes, increase firepower, always, please, other means to increase survivability, but why make it out of a MiG 31 tank, then put a locator or a hefty spotlight there, which can be seen better.
  7. Filxnumx
    Filxnumx 30 November 2016 19: 46
    In the presence of a cable, the UAV will definitely lose its "unique flight data". And what the hell to him then the rotary screws? Better to have a couple of free-flying drones: one is flying, the other is charging. And data transmission by a laser beam. True, the minus of the laser is that it does not work well in smoke and fog. But after all, the distances here are not kilometers, it is unlikely that more than 300 - 500 meters will be required. You can also try a microwave control channel or a combination of tethered (main) and free-flying (additional reconnaissance) drones
  8. tank64rus
    tank64rus 30 November 2016 19: 50
    The basic principles of the use of UAVs as standard tank armament were set forth in the article "Ground-air mobile robotic weapon systems in the collection" Reports of the Academy of Military Sciences "No. 4 (39) for 2009, pp. 133-136. RF patent No. 105422 priority dated November 22.11.2010 .38. The principle of using the UAV on the cable was substantiated in the patent registered by the 1999th Scientific Research Institute of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. In fact, this method of using the UAV is only one of several, there is also a landing system. on the dissertation. Where is this Academy and institutes now. Serdyukov and Co. have tried their best. Well, better late than never.
  9. opus
    opus 1 December 2016 01: 50
    Quote: Author
    UAV project "Pterodactyl": an additional means of observation for tanks


    New interesting set "Pterodactyl" Chinese tactical UAVs - reconnaissance and strike, information about which in Russian has not yet appeared

    Shl. I wonder if we will have a "pterodactyl"
    1. opus
      opus 1 December 2016 02: 36
      Quote: opus
      Shl. I wonder if we will have a "pterodactyl"

      It is unlikely to be - I wanted to write
  10. nik1321
    nik1321 1 December 2016 05: 12
    the idea is very interesting, but the cable and the short distance are stupid, in motion and in battle, there are some problems with the cable. Let the hybrid options be considered a little energy - the same fuel generator + batteries. If someone is afraid of the radio channel - minimize the operator’s work, let them develop software options for flying and returning the aircraft in the event of a loss of communication. Yes, you can work on the communication channel and there will be solutions .. Then what is the point of spinning around the tank, while unmasking it, the radius of use should be at least 10 -20 km and a height of several km, so that you can use it the same in the mountains and it would also affect the quality of communication. In general, it would be nice to develop a model to support different equipment, and not just tanks. It is time to come up with some sort of classification - at least taking into account the same radius of action and the declared functions - in order to figure out exactly what and for what purposes it is necessary. Just the appearance in the army in a significant number of such aircraft with the functions of detecting the enemy, aiming at the target and communications will increase the army's capabilities by an order of magnitude. Attack aircraft and short-range fighters is the next question - even if it seems ridiculous to someone now, anyway they’ll come and it’s better to start doing it now, and not come up with a pig on a string, otherwise the next development of an exciting mind will be a balloon for blaming fluff (remember - if the bears were bees ... and how it ended)
    1. GSlovenin
      GSlovenin 1 December 2016 13: 41
      Good day, comrades!
      Will - will not !? And who said that we are going that way?
      Let's think: A projectile worth several hundred thousand rubles already, in my opinion, does not surprise anyone. So why not put several shells stuffed with micro-flying devices working on the principle of autorotation descent into the ammunition of the same tank, in the filling of which a micro-video camera and a microprocessor can establish a local network between the devices (7-14 units)? A shot of a shell and scatter at a given height of several km of vehicles. They are connected to a local grid and now the tank’s onboard computer connected to it has a picture processed by it, broadcast from constantly decreasing devices. Maybe fantastic, but quite achievable. And most importantly, no problems with heavy power supplies. The energy for the microprocessor will give autorotator. Yes, the system is disposable, but by the way, like any ammunition.
  11. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh 1 December 2016 12: 50
    The idea is normal. You can start with the commander tanks.
    To launch a helicopter not all the time, but only at stops in dangerous places.
    The cable can be optical, it is almost invisible.
    It can be automatically unwound-reel.
  12. Zaurbek
    Zaurbek 1 December 2016 16: 05
    On UAVs are only auxiliary devices. The tank will not constantly move with it. It is necessary - released, not dodged. On each tank, it is not needed (if there is a control system on the tanks, the detected target will be transferred to the OMS of all vehicles in the group). If the launch of an ATGM using an UAV will be implemented, then generally good ...
  13. Tektor
    Tektor 1 December 2016 23: 21
    The idea is so strong that all its advantages may not appear immediately ... T-14 is a network-centric element, i.e. data from its sensors are available to the network. A radar on a drone at an altitude of 50 m can look 40 km in the district, approximately, and depends on the terrain. We get an overview for defense against low-flying objects. The companion unit provides visibility within a radius of 30 km, well, approximately, such a radar, or a little more powerful, should be on Pterodactyl. KVM.
  14. Volga Cossack
    Volga Cossack 6 December 2016 06: 57
    An interesting idea ........ but who will be responsible for management ????? or is he fully automatic ????