Military Review

UAV "Demon". Statements are loud, and prospects are dubious

To solve these or other problems, modern armies use unmanned aerial vehicles of various classes and types. Seeing these needs of the military, the industry is developing new designs. For example, the Ukrainian company Matrix UAV (Kiev) has already presented a whole series of helicopter-type UAVs, designed to perform various missions. Its latest development is the Demon apparatus, a new version of a multi-purpose product capable of carrying weapon and attack various targets.

Loud statements about the promising "Demon" appeared on August 17. The head of the company-developer Yury Kasyanov on his Facebook page published several photos from the tests of the device, a short video, as well as information about the characteristics and possibilities of the new development. In this “press release”, far from all the data on the project were present, but the published information allows for a sufficiently detailed picture. In this case, you can find reasons for harsh criticism.

According to official data ...

The product "Demon", while existing only in the form of a prototype, belongs to the class of "shock multi-purpose unmanned vehicles." The UAV is designed to deliver "sudden precise strikes" on the firing points, combat vehicles, air defense facilities and command posts. The range is stated at 10 km. Management is carried out only manually, although the project developers hope to implement a semi-automatic type system. As part of the control system can be used UAV "Chimera" development of the same company. It should perform the functions of a repeater, increasing the radius of the shock apparatus.

Product "Demon" on the ground

It is argued that the "Demon" can carry various combat loads to solve different combat missions. Under the bottom of the vehicle, it is proposed to hang one RPG-7 anti-tank grenade launcher, one or two RPG-22 "Netto" anti-tank grenades, or Agleni RPG-26 or small arms or high-explosive charge. The mass of such a combat load is determined in 5 kg. With such a load, the device has a combat radius of 10 km.

The new project involves the use of the device in the "kamikaze" mode. In this case, a greater payload is delivered to the target, but the attack is carried out at the cost of the UAV’s “life”, and its return to the operator is not provided. When using 7-kg high-explosive fragmentation charge "Demon" is able to attack the target at a distance of 20 km. Also provides for the option "kamikaze" with a different power plant and a warhead weighing 4 kg. It is alleged that in this case, the unit will be able to fly up to 90 km.

A relatively long range in one of the modes was the reason for very interesting statements. Thus, according to Yu. Kasyanov, the combat radius in 90 km is already the level of operational-tactical missile systems, such as “Tochka-U”.

The published video clearly showed that the new UAV “Demon” is capable of flying according to the commands of the operators. In addition, it is argued that trial shooting from a suspended weapon was carried out. The head of the Matrix UAV claims that after the shot, the UAV behaves normally and is able to continue flying.

Visible and obvious

Unfortunately, the head of the development organization announced only a part of the characteristics of the proposed UAV, without addressing a number of important topics. Fortunately, the "press release" was attached a few photos of the existing prototype, which allow to complete the picture. Of course, the images can not accurately establish all the features of the appearance of "The Demon", but they remove a number of questions.

Bottom view. Well visible reactive grenade and means of its attachment

At the heart of the design of the new Ukrainian drone is a frame assembled from metal or plastic pipes. In its composition there is a pair of longitudinal elements located in close proximity to each other, as well as two transverse beams. Longitudinal pipes are connected by a light casing-platform on which a piece of equipment is placed. Nearby it is proposed to mount weapons. At the ends of the transverse tubes placed engines. Below them are non-removable racks that perform the functions of the chassis.

Apparently, the "Demon" is equipped with an electric power plant. It has four electric motors of unknown type, the power of which is also not specified. The engines are equipped with two-bladed constant-pitch propellers. Energy is supplied to the engines from the control equipment using external placement wires. Necessary cables are literally suspended under the frame elements on the clamps. Why they were not hidden inside the structure is unknown.

Y. Kasyanov also mentioned some hybrid version of “The Demon”. It is possible that at the level of the idea or project there is another version of the drone, in which the electricity for the motors comes not from the battery, but from the generator associated with the internal combustion engine. However, such a modification of the UAV is not yet ready to enter the tests.

On the central elements of the frame on top there is a fairing of a characteristic look, probably containing the control equipment. Under the frame are suspended two textile pouch, from which the wires depart. They can be located batteries. In addition, in front of the frame is another unit in a plastic case. It may include simple optical devices.

In the published photographs, “The Demon” has the configuration of a carrier of a reactive anti-tank grenade. To install it, the drone received a special holder of a rather large size. The holder consists of a frame and a pair of clips with locks. The rectangular frame is located to the right of the grenade and is attached to the drone. With the help of detachable ring clips on the holder is fixed weapon. In the presented configuration, the holder can carry only one product of the type RPG-22 or RPG-26. It is claimed that the device can carry two grenades. Probably, this requires a different suspension system.

Unanswered Questions

Upon careful consideration of the experienced “Demon”, first of all, the low level of performance is striking. The presented unmanned vehicle is similar to a handicraft, assembled in a not very developed workshop of ready-made components. However, such features of its appearance can be explained by the early stages of the project, as well as the limitations associated with testing and refinement.

"Demon" in flight

You can also notice that the new Ukrainian drone is assembled from ready-made components that are present in the civilian market. In fact, engineers from Matrix UAV chose products that fit their needs and assembled them into a single design. The results of this approach to the creation of technology are obvious. "Demon" can be considered analogous to a number of other devices in its class, already present on the market. In this case, the only serious difference from them is the presence of a holder for weapons, whereas in the area of ​​technical characteristics no advantages are observed.

It is alleged that at the moment UAV "Demon" can only be controlled by the operator. The video signal and other data are transmitted via radio to the operator’s console, which, in turn, transmits commands to the device. If necessary, the control system can enter a drone-repeater, which increases the range of the "combat" UAV. It is expected that in the near future, "The Demon" will receive semi-automatic controls.

Apparently, the "Demon" is completed with controls for civilian UAVs, which also provide work only with the participation of the operator. The disadvantages of this are obvious and actually negate the possibility of using the device in a real conflict. The use of an unprotected radio channel in combination with the lack of autonomy makes the device an easy target for any means of electronic warfare. The suppression of communication channels will prevent the arrival of teams, and the drone will not be able to continue the flight, not to mention the performance of the combat mission.

The presence of semi-automatic control systems can partially solve this problem. With it, the UAV, for example, will be able to fly on a pre-programmed route. However, the “Demon” should not only fly, but also shoot. In the absence of communication with the operator, he will not be able to find the target and attack it with the use of rocket-propelled grenades or small arms.

It turns out that even with a semi-automatic control system, in the presence of electronic countermeasures, the Demon UAV is capable of solving only one task. Due to the simplest automation, he can reach the target with previously known coordinates and destroy it, sacrificing himself. It should be noted that the use of a drone as a "kamikaze" is associated with known problems of an economic nature. The massive use of such technology may be prohibitively expensive and impractical.

The developers claim that they have already been tested with shooting

In the field of armaments, only high-explosive fragmentation charges — caused by dropping on a target or falling along with a carrier — cause no doubt. Such weapons can really show good fighting qualities. A charge with a mass from 4 to 7 kg can pose a threat to some stationary objects and equipment of a potential enemy. However, for its effective use of the drone, appropriate means of aiming are necessary. So, it is necessary to provide an overview of the lower hemisphere, which requires a separate camera or a movable platform for a single one.

The possibility of equipping a UAV with one or two reactive anti-tank grenades looks interesting and even promising. However, certain questions arise. First of all, the accuracy of shooting from such a weapon is doubtful. The fact is that the grenade is suspended horizontally and parallel to the axis of the drone. Thus, for a shot at a ground target, the device needs to change the pitch and almost go into a dive. Will the Demon have enough stability for such a flight - a big question. In addition, the presence of a jet and a certain recoil impulse adds problems. All this can also affect the accuracy of the fire, and in some cases, the survivability of the device.

Problems with stability and combat effectiveness can be exacerbated when using small arms. After installing a machine gun or other weapons of acceptable mass, the drone will have to deal with recoil, barrel throwing and other phenomena characteristic of firearms. There is reason to doubt that the "Demon" will cope with them. As a result, shooting will be possible only “in that direction” - without precise aiming.

Part of the problems of the suspended armament could be solved at the expense of a movable holder with a variable angle of vertical guidance and some kind of recoil devices. However, a system with a separate drive and means of damping recoil will be different in unacceptable mass and will hit according to flight performance.

Depending on the configuration and execution, the Demon UAV is allegedly supposed to have a combat radius from 10 to 90 km. Its minimum values ​​correspond to modifications with a suspended weapon capable of returning to the base. The maximum radius is planned to receive when using the new power plant and without return. How realistic is the implementation of such plans - must show the test. In theory, this kind of drones can really fly dozens of kilometers, but in this case we are talking about the presence of a serious load. Whether it will be possible to fulfill all the plans and get the desired opportunities is unknown. So far there are grounds for both optimistic and pessimistic forecasts.

While an experienced "Demon" is only one grenade

Comparison of the drone with the operational-tactical missile system, based on flight ranges, perhaps, should be left without comment. The simultaneous mention and comparison of UAV and OTRK is simply ridiculous.

Doubtful future

With a careful study of the UAV "Demon" can draw characteristic conclusions about the essence of the project. It seems that we are talking about another attempt to assemble the drone of the available components and offer it to the army or volunteer organizations in the hope of a large order with appropriate funding. It should be noted that this practice has already become the norm for Ukraine. New “breakthrough” projects appear on a regular basis, supposedly capable of changing the face of the Ukrainian army, and only successful financing is required for their successful implementation.

For obvious reasons, not all authors of such developments receive the desired orders, and with them the opportunity to make money on the actual topic of assistance to the army. The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine does not have enough finances to support all such projects; Numerous public organizations face the same problems. In other words, supply exceeds demand with clear consequences.

It should be borne in mind that the Demon apparatus, as it stands, has a number of serious problems, which, at a minimum, make it difficult for its full operation in the troops. The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, if offered this UAV, will be able to use this fact as an excuse for refusing to purchase. In this case, such a refusal will be logical and reasonable.

In the current form of the UAV "Demon" from the company Matrix UAV looks curious, but no more. To become a full-fledged combat vehicle capable of working on the battlefield, the drone must receive a number of serious improvements and get all the necessary capabilities. Otherwise, he risks being an unsuccessful attempt to connect UAVs from “civilian” components with military weapons, which have very limited potential. How exactly will end история project "Demon" - until the end is not clear. But it is already clear that any optimism may be superfluous.

Based on:
Photos used:
Matrix UAV /

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  1. Andrey Yuryevich
    Andrey Yuryevich 4 September 2018 06: 08
    where do the demons come from? Of course, from Hell ...
  2. parma
    parma 4 September 2018 06: 25
    The project is controversial .... On the one hand, a lot of work needs to be done to get something worthwhile, on the other hand, a kamikaze drone or an explosive delivery vehicle is ready .. Regarding an unsecured communication channel and electronic warfare, militants use civilian drones in Syria and Iraq very efficiently, even our base got them ... EW is not always there and moreover it is not always on ...
    1. Sanichsan
      Sanichsan 4 September 2018 17: 38
      Quote: parma
      The project is controversial ....

      project WHAT controversial? a project to extract money from the budget is quite promising wink nothing controversial.
      you are probably not in the subject. try google for the keywords "GPRS" and "aircraft modeling", search. you suddenly find out that you can create a software-controlled aircraft model using a navigation system at home for quite reasonable money. 5 years ago my friends were flying planes from St. Petersburg to Kronstadt and back.
      so "Demon" is a pure scam for loot. and the level of "shkololo".
      as an example, I remind you about the project of the Ukrainian combat robot laughing
  3. san4es
    san4es 4 September 2018 07: 30
    The product "Demon", while existing only in the form of a prototype, is assigned to the class of "shock multipurpose unmanned aerial vehicles"
    As part of the control system can be used UAV "Chimera" Feb 26. 2018 year
    Commander - Universal Multirotor Platform Aug 18 2017 year
  4. garri-lin
    garri-lin 4 September 2018 10: 55
    How many empty unnecessary words. Brevity is the soul of wit!
  5. Mih1974
    Mih1974 4 September 2018 18: 41
    Well, sort of like in the Donbass, and so drones are being shot down, while there were reconnaissance drones, now you will have to intensify the fight against combat. And I'm not talking about the Sumerians, the barmaley in Syria showed the effectiveness of such crafts even with a simple grenade, and only the "carapace" could put an end to this, but in Sumeria there are no "carapaces" and there will not be until we accept Donbass into Russia.
    But the suspension of RPGs - there is nonsense, especially on such a model, is correctly written - it will blow it to hell with return, and a deviation of a couple of degrees and a grenade will fly away not to the target (if the armored vehicles) but to hell. negative I'm not sure that even a high-explosive fragmentation charge can be launched with sufficient accuracy in a crowd of people.
    But from the article you can make a sad conclusion - here you have the Terminators fool , Death comes from nowhere and like "no one is to blame."
    In the coming years, I will go to massive contract killings using the UAV, there is no RPG, so far only flying in with a large amount of explosives, I will also wang - tightening the law, right up to the possession of a UAV will be equated with "attempted murder."
    1. gridasov
      gridasov 3 November 2018 18: 44
      Everything feels complete amateurism. The guys generally do not own scientific knowledge. They take a trivial product in a store and think that they were the first to do it. The air environment is not only always laminar in the movement of flows, which means that all performance characteristics are suitable only for idealized weather conditions. Therefore, a breakthrough in the creation of more efficient aircraft can only be their creation with new movers. And I admit that I am glad that few people understand what is at stake.
      1. Mih1974
        Mih1974 3 November 2018 19: 05
        I want to give you a couple of analogies (historical): 1914 World War I, the so-called "combat biplanes" took on board home-made mines and the first poor bombs, like the current 76 mm mines, the accuracy and even more suddenness of the bomb strike was simply nonexistent; 27 years pass (in total) and CARPET bombing wipes out entire cities, and the accuracy is already amazing and from monstrous heights. These models appeared quite a long time ago, even in Soviet times I remember there was aeromodeling, "quadrics" of course appeared not so long ago, but they have already reached unimaginable heights in terms of range and load. Add to that when the first TV-guided strike missiles appeared and how they (electronics) shrank. Now compare these two factors and you yourself will be frightened how little is left before "gliding bombs" for UAVs with a television guidance head. belay No.
        1. gridasov
          gridasov 3 November 2018 21: 18
          You tell these tales in kindergarten. From a physical point of view, in order to increase the payload, it is necessary to get rid of the proportionality of the mass growth when using either ICE or the weight of the batteries. It is also impossible to infinitely increase the radius of the propeller blades. Therefore, the use of UAVs has their own boundary limits in range, flight time and carrying capacity. Moreover, no matter how many engines are increased, this will cause an increase in energy consumption and everything else, which interferes with efficiency and flight and payload.
          1. Mih1974
            Mih1974 3 November 2018 22: 39
            Would you like to post a video where in Saudi Arabia they test the flight of a "ATV" with a Man as a pilot at the rate of about an hour and a half (if I'm not mistaken) flight? fool And I'm telling you about a small bomb with small electronics and planning rudders to hit a specific person with an altitude of only 100 meters and a distance from the take-off site - let's say only 1 km !! Let's put aside the question of Price for now, and dwell on the "technical feasibility", which, as always, will follow - the reduction in price and prevalence. I repeat, there are already some videos from Syria (as well as facts without video from Ukria) on the use of such a scheme by terrorists. And these were clearly handicraft options, and now imagine what this option will come to when setting tasks for large and professional teams belay No. .
            All your tricky stories about aerodynamics, etc. - are broken by the projects already existing in the USA for "delivery of small cargo by drones" (it seems from Amazon). Further - spreading around the world, well, and then, as always, the "medicine" will be converted into "poison".
            1. gridasov
              gridasov 4 November 2018 08: 50
              I did not say that this is impossible within the framework of certain critical possibilities. I said that this can only be developed to certain development limits. Of course, you can tie a kamikaze fanatic and put it with a grenade in your hand only in one direction. But you understand that such a solution is only worthy of people of a certain level of intelligence, and against such decisions you can quickly find an antidote.
              1. Mih1974
                Mih1974 4 November 2018 16: 16
                And you try to find, unfortunately, now there is complete domination in the air of UAVs, with their cheapness (for a normal army)
                Look at the beginning of reporting before the start of advertising , and then, as I write above, "one step to industrial production." Cheap Chinese copters, "penny" small bombs with thrusters (penny if from the same China) and we get essentially "the beginning of the 20th century and airplanes" which then were slow-moving and not accurate, but could ALREADY deliver bomb strikes. Once again, this will be followed by a flow of this technology into creminality and we will soon be afraid to go out into the street constantly looking around for the sound of a motor.
                1. gridasov
                  gridasov 4 November 2018 17: 28
                  I admit that you are right in many respects, and I am not trying to argue. I mean only that the use of our invention will create really real conditions for scaling UAVs and most importantly increase the ability to increase the payload and make the movers really silent
  6. kunstkammer
    kunstkammer 30 October 2018 15: 09
    Doubtful future

    For someone like .. by the way! For many star generals, of course, it’s too expensive, then it’s too cheap (kickbacks will not work), it will not be able to carry a simple artillery howitzer .. again, you can’t hang a nuclear charge on it. In general, boredom .. and there is nothing to say.
    And if you just need to urgently cover the direction of the broken enemy armor column? What is more effective? Shout on the air - brothers, send help and wait for it for hours ... or lift a dozen of these "toys" into the air and in ten minutes cover the enemy, albeit with a not very effective salvo of 10 anti-tank missiles?
    Not .. for the bosses - they are too simple .. there is no laser backlight.
    Our rams were committed in the war, the Japanese used kamikaze - is it cheaper and more patriotic?