Military Review

Achievements and prospects of domestic UAVs

47

"Orlan-10" is one of the main UAVs of the Russian army. Photo of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation


In the past 10-15 years, the Russian army has been paying particular attention to unmanned aerial vehicles. Unmanned aerial vehicles for various purposes with different characteristics are being created, purchased and put into service, allowing to cover all the needs of the armed forces. Due to this, one of the world's largest "air fleets" of UAVs has already been created, and in the future it will become even larger and will be able to perform a wider range of tasks.

Current achievements


The current processes of construction and development of the unmanned direction were launched in the XNUMXs - although older models created in Soviet times are also in service. The development of modern UAVs began with the development of our own samples and the purchase of foreign products necessary for accumulating experience.


The calculation prepares the UAV "Eleron-3" for launch. Photo of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

Over time, the number of domestic developments grew, and some of these samples were adopted by different types of troops. Currently, UAVs of several classes are in service with the ground forces, the Air Force, the Navy, the Airborne Forces and a number of power structures. At the same time, so far only complexes of the light and middle classes are becoming widespread. Heavy UAVs, incl. shock assignments have not yet reached full service, but their appearance in the ranks is expected in the near future.

According to known data, the Russian army now has approx. 70 companies responsible for the operation of the UAV. They own hundreds of two dozen types of unmanned aerial vehicles, including at least 2 thousand aircraft. Thanks to this, Russia is one of the main "unmanned powers" in the world. In terms of the number of UAVs in service, our country is second only to the United States and Israel.


Aileron on the launching device. Photo of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

The processes of development and modernization of unmanned vehicles do not stop. Also, the production of devices continues under existing and newly emerging contracts. New directions are being mastered. All this allows us to assume that our UAV fleet, at least, will not decrease in quantity, but in terms of quality, real breakthroughs await it.

Park condition


At the moment, the vast majority of army UAVs belong to the light class; these are mainly devices designed for monitoring and reconnaissance. Thus, the most widespread is the Orlan-10 complex with an aircraft weighing only 14 kg and capable of carrying 5 kg of payload. Various payload options are offered, including communication equipment and electronic warfare equipment.

UAVs of the Eleron series are of great importance for the troops. Such devices are built according to the "flying wing" scheme and have a mass of 3,4 to 15 kg. They are able to stay in the air for a long time and conduct reconnaissance without attracting attention. Larger and heavier samples of the series have a changeable load. The newer UAVs of the Tachyon family have similar characteristics and capabilities. A number of other samples of Russian design and licensed production belong to the same class.


Launch of the Tachyon UAV. Photo of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

The main domestic UAV of the middle class at the moment is "Forpost" - a licensed copy of the Israeli IAI Searcher II. This aircraft has a takeoff weight of over 430 kg and carries reconnaissance equipment. As production continued, the degree of localization increased and the dependence on imported components decreased. In addition, work on the Forpost-R UAV is nearing completion. It is larger and heavier than its predecessor, and has an increased flight duration. In addition, the project provides for the use of only Russian components and software.

Features of operation


The existing UAV fleet in the troops is only suitable for observation and reconnaissance - and the army actively uses this. Reconnaissance companies with drones have been created in all large formations of ground, airborne and other troops. Their task is to collect data about the enemy and the situation as a whole, target designation for various fire weapons, etc.


Medium UAV "Forpost". Photo of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

As part of the Syrian operation, unmanned aviation the complexes showed their capabilities in the field of reconnaissance and target designation. With their help, the work of combat aviation is ensured, incl. strategic, and friendly ground units. Various variants of such interaction between UAVs and other equipment are regularly practiced in exercises.

In recent years, the Ministry of Defense has repeatedly reported on the introduction of UAVs in new areas. So, unmanned aerial vehicles can now provide the operation of artillery systems of various types, up to high-power 2S7M systems. The data from the reconnaissance drone is used both for preparation for firing and for adjustments after the first shots.

The operation of the UAV has begun in the engineering and railway troops. With their help, sappers and railway workers can assess the situation and determine a plan for further actions - during the construction or destruction of facilities, when laying roads or repairing, etc.


Complex "Orion" with heavy drones. Photo of the company "Kronstadt"

A difficult prospect


The Russian army does not yet have heavy-class UAVs capable of showing higher flight characteristics. Due to the lack of such platforms, the question of shock drones remains open. However, work in this direction began several years ago and will soon give all the desired results.

The Orion unmanned complex shows the greatest success. He successfully passed the tests and even passed the test in Syria. In the spring of this year, the Ministry of Defense adopted the first complex with three UAVs. Serial production is expected to start. The project of a similar purpose "Altius-U" has faced some problems. This UAV is still undergoing testing, but has every chance of entering service in the near future.


Heavy "Altius-U" in flight. Photo of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

Of particular interest is the S-70 Okhotnik project, which has already been tested for the prototype. It provides for the creation of a "flying wing" with advanced reconnaissance and strike capabilities and the ability to work both independently with maximum autonomy, and in one formation with a manned fifth generation fighter.

The topic of drones capable of interacting with aircraft is developing. At the forum "Army-2020" for the first time showed a model of a promising UAV of this kind called "Thunder". It is expected that such a device will be able to carry weapon to combat air and ground targets, and will also take on the most dangerous combat work.

Disposable drones


In recent years, the domestic industry has paid attention to the direction of the so-called. loitering ammunition - light UAVs carrying a warhead and capable of attacking ground targets. Several developments of this class have already been presented, they are being tested - but they are not yet accepted for service. Probably, a decision on this will be made in the near future.


Loitering ammunition "Lancet". Photo of Concern "Kalashnikov"

In the recent past, the "Cube-UAV" ammunition was presented. This is a small-sized product (wing span 1,2 m) with a warhead weighing 3 kg. The product is capable of flying up to half an hour. During this time, the operator can monitor the situation and look for a target to strike. Later, the Lancet ammunition was presented. It is distinguished by an aerodynamic configuration, a more advanced optical-electronic system and an increased combat load.

Present and future


UAVs of a number of classes have already become an integral attribute of the Russian army. The production of existing types of equipment continues, which allows the continuation of rearmament and the creation of new reconnaissance and monitoring units. In parallel, other samples are being developed, incl. completely new classes with different working and combat capabilities.

Thus, by now the "air fleet" of Russian drones has become a large and full-fledged force capable of solving assigned tasks. And right now it is on the verge of a new stage in its development. Apparatus of new classes with extended capabilities have already been created, and in the near future they will reach full-fledged operation. Heavy attack vehicles will complement light reconnaissance vehicles - and Russia will enter the circle of world leaders not only in the number of UAVs, but also in their quality and capabilities.
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  1. lucul
    lucul 10 December 2020 18: 11
    +6
    The project of a similar purpose "Altius-U" has faced some problems. This UAV is still undergoing tests, but has every chance of entering service in the near future.

    Spare no money and develop our own motors - Altius is our only chance for a DLRO UAV.
    It's no joke - the ceiling is 12m, the range is 000km, and 10 hours in the air.
    1. donavi49
      donavi49 10 December 2020 18: 16
      +7
      If we take REDs (what is on Altius), then from the beginning of development to the certificate, it took about 10 years.
      1. Aerodrome
        Aerodrome 10 December 2020 18: 26
        +1
        Apparatus of new classes with advanced capabilities have already been created, and in the near future they will reach full-fledged operation. Heavy attack vehicles will complement light reconnaissance aircraft - and Russia will enter the circle of world leaders not only in the number of UAVs, but also in their quality and capabilities.
        it is better to declare in fact, "plans" and "projects" are already tired. They took to the troops, hurray. and so ... a lot of things have already been painted.
        1. El Chuvachino
          El Chuvachino 10 December 2020 18: 58
          -1
          Quote: Aerodrome
          it is better to declare in fact

          Who is better?
    2. _Ugene_
      _Ugene_ 10 December 2020 21: 08
      0
      It's no joke - the ceiling is 12m, the range is 000km, and 10 hours in the air.
      in order to implement these characteristics, a satellite control system for the UAV is needed, this is still difficult
    3. Alexey Bobrin
      Alexey Bobrin 12 December 2020 09: 38
      +2
      Our only chance is not only UAV Altius, but Sirius too.
    4. Elturisto
      Elturisto 12 December 2020 13: 37
      -1
      Yeah on paper ...
    5. Elturisto
      Elturisto 24 January 2021 12: 43
      0
      Yes, except for the motors, everything is German, the glider, avionics :) And yes, they already heard you, they will not regret money :)
  2. SaLaR
    SaLaR 10 December 2020 18: 12
    +4
    And someone wrote that everything is lost.. But it seems that there is something ...)
    1. Aerodrome
      Aerodrome 10 December 2020 18: 29
      -1
      Quote: SaLaR
      And someone wrote that everything is lost.. But it seems that there is something ...)

      and not only one ...
  3. OgnennyiKotik
    OgnennyiKotik 10 December 2020 18: 12
    +1
    They own hundreds of two dozen types of unmanned aerial vehicles, including at least 2 thousand aircraft. Thanks to this, Russia is one of the the main "unmanned powers" of the world... In terms of the number of UAVs in service, our country is second only to the United States and Israel.

    There are three types of lies: lies, blatant lies and statistics.
    1. lucul
      lucul 10 December 2020 18: 19
      +4
      There are three types of lies: lies, blatant lies and statistics.

      Are you saying that Turkey is the leading UAV power? )))
      1. Intruder
        Intruder 10 December 2020 22: 14
        +2
        the only one who actively does not hesitate to apply them wherever she can! Especially having our own production and development at home, and not buying junk in Israel and China, like many other countries ...
        1. Cottodraton
          Cottodraton 11 December 2020 06: 10
          +5
          Aha, and whose electronics is there? Not really your own?
          1. Artunis
            Artunis 11 December 2020 12: 39
            +5
            There, apart from the glider, there is nothing of its own from the word "absolutely".
    2. petroff
      petroff 15 December 2020 13: 33
      +1
      I completely agree!!! Only the United States is inferior !!! fellow
  4. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 10 December 2020 18: 32
    +4
    Well. Quantitatively, we are really not in the last ranks. But qualitatively ...
    In real combat conditions, with active air defense and electronic warfare, our UAVs have not yet worked, and the drums are still only in development.
    Let's wait and hope.
  5. Knell wardenheart
    Knell wardenheart 10 December 2020 18: 46
    +7
    It is high time to start work on a medium-sized UAV-interceptor for showdowns with various rascals like Bayraktarov.
    1. OgnennyiKotik
      OgnennyiKotik 10 December 2020 18: 51
      0
      It is necessary to make a universal, relatively cheap, mass turbojet platform. In versions of electronic warfare, AWACS, repeater, attack aircraft, fighter, etc.
      Something like the Sukhoi Probe project. On the AI-222-25 turbojet engines used on the Yak-130 training aircraft. It is also possible on RD-33 with AL-31, with the appropriate modifications.
      1. Knell wardenheart
        Knell wardenheart 10 December 2020 19: 00
        +7
        I would bet more on screw motors. All the same, for a UAV of a defense nature, maneuverability and autonomy time, and the cost of operation are important.
        1. OgnennyiKotik
          OgnennyiKotik 10 December 2020 19: 07
          +2
          I think the ability to lift 3-4 tons of payload is more important. This is a full-fledged radar and the whole range of controlled and non-controlled weapons in service. You can put a cannon too.
          Turbojet UAVs can be in the air for more than 24 hours, that's more than enough.
          Electric motors are more for small UAVs and kamikaze drones.
          One does not cancel the other. 2 directions are needed equally: swarms of small-class drones and shock-reconnaissance "large" UAVs.
          1. Knell wardenheart
            Knell wardenheart 10 December 2020 19: 10
            +2
            Yes, this is understandable, I'm now talking more about the concept of a hunter for a UAV at the direction of ground stations. Perhaps it would be more productive against the "swarm of drones" than all these modern missile and cannon tricks. And for this task, you need an autonomous cheap machine with cheap operation, which is capable of what is called "hover" for hours like a bird of prey. Drummers, yes, turbojets, there are no options.
      2. Intruder
        Intruder 10 December 2020 22: 17
        +6
        and at-cost with the same Yak-130, and plus maintenance costs and the price tag of a flight hour, then a light turboprop attack aircraft with two pilots is better, as a hunter for a UAV! :)
        1. OgnennyiKotik
          OgnennyiKotik 11 December 2020 00: 15
          -1
          Quote: Intruder
          cost with the same Yak-130, and plus maintenance costs and the price tag of the flight hour

          Done right
          Quote: Intruder
          a light turboprop attack aircraft with two pilots as a UAV hunter!

          Two corpses in a flying coffin.

          Idlib, Libya, Karabakh are past wars, we need to prepare for the future. For the same Turks, Aksungur entered the series, Akinchi is actively flying. They will already be equipped with AFAR, air-to-air missiles, GBU-39, KR, JDAM, etc.
          The Goksungur jet UAV is planning its first flight in 2021, with production in 2023.
          The number of UAV projects in the USA is off the charts, Loyal Wingman is doing 4 companies under contracts, 10 want to join it. There will be thousands of them and you need to prepare for a war with them.
          1. Intruder
            Intruder 11 December 2020 09: 45
            +1
            if you take today's time and training of pilots, then dy :) two corpses are guaranteed, plus aircraft "sharpened" (all sorts of electronic guns "and military electronic warfare / electronic warfare systems do not take, to fight the UAV now there is no! Although better light attack aircraft or version anti-guerrilla striker, with a low cost and appropriate combat load specifically for combating small-sized UAVs, than sculpt a separate unmanned interceptor fighter, spend money on research and development, and on training (specialization) of operators (in the field of UAV interception) and other ground infrastructure of the centers controls that will also need protection from shock drones and loitering ammunition!
            1. OgnennyiKotik
              OgnennyiKotik 11 December 2020 09: 51
              +3
              The task needs to be divided into 2 parts:
              1. Swarms of small UAVs, kamikaze drones
              2. "Heavy" UAVs. Starting with Bayraktar and ending with promising promising jet engines.
              Different means are needed against them. I was talking about the second. Only the destruction of the carriers is against the former. Against individual military air defense.
              1. Intruder
                Intruder 11 December 2020 12: 17
                +2
                Well, Toda, small-caliber ZSU with remote detonation of air warhead ammunition, or small-caliber missile launchers, with matrix fragmentation warheads, something cheap without a seeker ...; following the example of economical solutions in the modernization of NARs of various calibers in order to make them manageable!
                And heavy and shock UAVs, it is better to "lay down on the ground" simple (screw, maximum turbotrop) and light (just as cheap) manned strikers with different target loads on the external suspension nodes, which will increase their versatility in the field of army aviation!
              2. Pamir
                Pamir 11 December 2020 23: 47
                +2
                Kot plus you, here it is precisely noted that it is required to divide the UAV into classes. There are already operatives of large mass dimensions, these are reconnaissance gunners and partly shooting or dropping ammunition like classical aviation. That is definitely how to fight with classical aviation, air defense is required. Missile defense, not a question of the Tunguska-Tor type, or even the newest C350 Vityaz.
                But the main problem, aerial robotic kamikaze-infantry, it will crush with a mass, the production of which does not require highly qualified forces and a high profile of enterprises for the production of UAVs. Therefore, air defense systems and MANPADS will not be very useful here. A cheap approach is required, stupidly blocking by the operators of electronic warfare UAVs, so that in a tailspin or landing without detonation with the help of operators of their electronic warfare, REPS. There is only the creation of impenetrable clouds and walls, above and from the fronts of their group. Then, when attacking by drones and only for the remaining units of kamikaze-UAVs that have broken through, barrel MANPADS are relevant, for they no longer have any special problems, these are not dozens of UAVs, when trying to destroy which, overheating of the barrels of MANPADS is ensured, and super multi-channel radars are not required.
              3. petroff
                petroff 15 December 2020 13: 41
                +3
                On three.
                1 small and barrage ammunition
                2 medium, versatile, reconnaissance and surveillance.
                3 heavy, AWACS, assault, fighter.
      3. petroff
        petroff 15 December 2020 13: 35
        +2
        Yeah, and they will cost like the Yak-130.
  6. Thrifty
    Thrifty 10 December 2020 18: 49
    +3
    Altius and Oreon depend on Austrian engines, because of the blackmail with us, these engines were no longer sold to us, and the license for their production was refused. So, at most, we will get a few more Oreons on the engines purchased and received from the Austrians, and then. .. wait for your piston engines for shock drones to appear. With proper funding, according to some information, our engines of this kind will be created in 2-3 years and put into production!
    1. OgnennyiKotik
      OgnennyiKotik 10 December 2020 18: 58
      +1
      Quote: Thrifty
      With proper funding, according to some information, our engines of this kind will be created in 2-3 years and put into production!

      Already 20-30 years these 2-3 years last. It is already necessary to score on these engines and build UAVs on turbojet engines.
      1. Thrifty
        Thrifty 10 December 2020 19: 19
        +6
        The Fiery Cat-turbojets are more hungry, and heavier, the drummer with them will weigh like a light fighter, and the price of such a drone will be almost like a conventional fighter!
    2. Intruder
      Intruder 10 December 2020 22: 19
      +2
      With Biden, we won't get the engines anymore, so the Orions won't have enough! The maximum is only to buy assembled or Kits, some "not the first freshness" from the Chinese, or like the same ZaLa from Israel!
  7. Bez 310
    Bez 310 10 December 2020 22: 13
    +12
    Such an article could be published in the Pravda newspaper.
    The headline is a feast for the eyes, we have only achievements
    and prospects, not failures and delays.
    So veiled to tell that we do not have "combat"
    UAVs, and those that exist are only small flying cameras,
    could only be a master of military journalism.
    And after all, you will not immediately understand that in terms of the UAV we are again behind
    the whole planet, Won and Shoigu recently "asked" to speed up work in
    this direction.
  8. 113262a
    113262a 10 December 2020 23: 02
    +9
    RF third half after the United States and Israel? What, even the Celestial Empire was bypassed, in which the UAV, already at the level of the motorized infantry department, is in the state! So far, we can only dream of such a saturation of drones in the troops!
    1. Blackgrifon
      Blackgrifon 11 December 2020 18: 15
      +1
      The question is in quantity. The PRC has shock workers, and we use light ones for reconnaissance and for the formation of RUKs. Here I wonder what will happen to the lancets.
      + waiting to see how Thunder and the Hunter will end. Let's hope that success (in a large series of good cars).
  9. Vladimir247
    Vladimir247 11 December 2020 06: 12
    +1
    It’s not even interesting to read how they write for the imbecile ... but the people hawk and comment seriously ... laughing
    Some projects. Will be ... planned ... in the near future ... and so on and so on .... wassat
    But there should be articles about the new staffing table in the army, about the positions of operators in companies and battalions, about training problems ... but what do we see on the site? And all the same: sweet talk about the future ... fellow
  10. bad
    bad 11 December 2020 08: 50
    +15
    The opponents, of course, ran far away. It will not be easy to catch up. We must act. Or answer asymmetrically.
  11. Boris63
    Boris63 11 December 2020 11: 22
    +5
    The son works in the company "Kronstadt", worked for 1,5-2 months almost seven days a week. It seems like they are bringing 3 more UAVs and ammunition to them. Exactly, he didn't ask, but in the conversation he mentioned ...
  12. xomaNN
    xomaNN 11 December 2020 15: 54
    +4
    Thanks to this, Russia is one of the main "unmanned powers" in the world. In terms of the number of UAVs in service, our country is second only to the United States and Israel.

    I really hope that this 3rd place does not lull the military. Heavy and shock UAVs are still a weak point. We are waiting, sir.
    ----
    I watched the victory parade in Baku. There Turkish and Israeli large UAVs were deservedly transported across the square. It was especially offensive for the Armenians to see captured MLRS, armored vehicles, which were also transported on trailers. The results of these UAVs. Wasted time in Yerevan and wasted money drinks
  13. Alexey Bobrin
    Alexey Bobrin 12 December 2020 09: 37
    +3
    In fact, the list of UAVs is more extensive.
  14. Kuz
    Kuz 12 December 2020 11: 58
    +14
    The UAV is now being taken seriously. And not everything gets into the press and news.
    1. Elturisto
      Elturisto 12 December 2020 13: 45
      +3
      We took up not the UAV, but another place ...
  15. Just Arkady
    Just Arkady 13 December 2020 14: 29
    +4
    This article reminded me of the movie "If tomorrow is war". Victoriously pathetic without taking into account the realities.
  16. Just Arkady
    Just Arkady 13 December 2020 14: 33
    +4
    Quote: Cottodraton
    Aha, and whose electronics is there? Not really your own?

    Yes, Chubais developed it at Skolkovo. I didn’t sleep at night, I was thinking about my homeland. American.
  17. petroff
    petroff 15 December 2020 13: 56
    +3
    I read it, and for some reason I remembered North Korea with its largest fleet in the world ... Not by battleships and aircraft carriers ... Namely by the number of ships, or rather boats, and not only submarines, but also motorized ones ...