Military Review

Russian projects of reconnaissance and strike UAVs and their successes

40

The Orion complex handed over to the troops in 2020. Photo by Kronstadt


Until recently, the situation with domestic reconnaissance and strike unmanned aerial vehicles left much to be desired. It was reported about the development of several new models, but their entry into service was a matter of the distant future. By now, the situation has seriously changed and is conducive to optimism.

Achievements of the "pacer"


The most successful of the domestic reconnaissance and strike UAVs can be considered the Orion complex, created as part of the Pioneer development work. This complex has been designed since 2011, and flight tests have been carried out since 2016. In 2018, experienced equipment was used in Syria as part of real operations. By now, all test activities have been completed, which allowed the finished UAV to get into the troops.

In mid-2019, the Kronstadt company, which developed Orion, announced the start of mass production. In April 2020, the first complex with three aircraft was handed over to the armed forces. It was planned to put it into trial operation in order to quickly master the new technology by the troops.


Tests of the UAV "Altius". Photo of the Russian Ministry of Defense

At the end of February, the leadership of the Ministry of Defense visited the Kronstadt plant and got acquainted with the current work of the enterprise. During this event, it was announced that during 2021 the armies will transfer six or seven new Orion complexes, each of which will include three UAVs and related equipment. At the same time, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu demanded an increase in the pace of construction of equipment.

Currently, the production of Orions and other unmanned vehicles is carried out at the existing production facilities of Kronstadt. By the end of the year the company plans to put into operation a new serial plant, with the help of which it will be possible to increase production. It is very likely that, as a result of these events, the army will be able to receive at least 10-15 unmanned systems with several UAVs each year.

Ordered "Altius"


In 2011, the development of another reconnaissance and strike UAV called "Altius" / "Altair" started. In the future, the project faced various difficulties, which is why the developer was replaced in 2018. Currently, the project and preparation of the series is being carried out by the Ural plant of civil aviation... Despite all the difficulties, the new drone was brought to the test and then carried out all the necessary procedures.


Joint flight of Su-57 and S-70 "Okhotnik". Photo of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

The flights of the experienced "Altius" began in 2016, but were later interrupted due to a change in developer and resumed in 2019. It was reported that flights were carried out in remotely controlled and autonomous modes. Payload verification activities were also expected. Whether the weapon was tested is unknown.

On February 20, the completion of the Altius development work was announced. As a result, UZGA received a contract from the Ministry of Defense for the production of a pilot batch of six drones. The contract will begin shortly; the timing of its completion has not been specified.

UAVs of the pilot batch will be handed over to the armed forces and will undergo trial operation. After that, a new order should be expected - for a full series. Thus, over the next few years, new Altiuses will be added to the already supplied Orions.

Waiting for the "Hunter"


Great hopes are pinned on the Sukhoi project under the designation C-70 Okhotnik. This heavy reconnaissance and strike UAV first flew in August 2019 and is undergoing various tests so far. The flight performance of the aircraft was checked, and the issues of interaction with manned aircraft were investigated. In addition, tests of combat capabilities were carried out using guided and unguided weapons.


Model of the shock "Thunder". Photo Bmpd.livejournal.com

Currently, only the first experienced Hunter is participating in the tests. In mid-February, domestic media reported, citing industry sources, that the construction of three new prototypes had begun. The second prototype will be built taking into account the test results of the first, which will lead to some differences. The airframe and control systems will undergo modifications. The third and fourth prototypes will also differ from their predecessors: their appearance will correspond as much as possible to the serial one.

According to current plans, in 2023, all four experimental "Hunter" will go to state joint trials. These events will last until September 2025 and will determine the further strategy of the Ministry of Defense. By this time, serial production of equipment can be organized, and already in 2024-25. the first S-70 complexes will go to the troops.

Thus, work on the "Hunter" project continues and during the tests, new capabilities of this UAV are regularly demonstrated. However, the adoption of the new complex for service is still a matter of the distant future. However, given the overall complexity of the project and the expected opportunities, such terms of work seem to be acceptable.

New developments


Several other projects of reconnaissance and strike UAVs with different features, characteristics and capabilities are now being developed. So, at the exhibition "Army-2020" the company "Kronshtadt" for the first time showed a model of the product "Thunder". This project provides for the creation of a heavy drone capable of operating in the same link with a manned aircraft and complementing it or taking on part of the combat missions.


Supposed model of the "Lightning" product. Photo of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

It is assumed that a mixed air group with manned and unmanned vehicles will be able to perform a wide range of tasks. UAVs of the promising "Thunder" type will be able to enter the enemy's air defense zones without exposing the manned leader aircraft to risks. Their task will be to identify enemy targets and then defeat them using weapons Air-to-surface.

UAV "Thunder" is made in the form of an unobtrusive aircraft less than 14 m long with a wingspan of 10 m. Takeoff weight - up to 7 tons, of which up to 2 tons of payload. Guided bombs with caliber up to 500 kg are considered as the main armament. Perhaps, in the future, the drone will be armed with missiles, and will also "teach" to attack air targets.

Active work is underway in the field of light reconnaissance and strike UAVs - loitering ammunition. Thus, the Zala Aero company has already presented the Cube-UAV systems and two versions of the Lancet product. They have ample opportunities to conduct reconnaissance and can hit the identified target "at the cost of their own lives." Probably, in the future, new projects of this kind will appear.

Recently it became known about the development of the complex of group application "Lightning". It will include special UAVs, similar in appearance and characteristics to a cruise missile. They will have to work from the carrier aircraft and help it solve combat missions or do it on their own. It is planned to develop and introduce fundamentally new control systems and algorithms to ensure the interaction of drones within the swarm.


Loitering ammunition "Lancet-3". Photo Zala Aero

Due to the limited size and weight of the UAVs "Molniya" will become, first of all, scouts. The possibility of using electronic warfare equipment is also being considered. With the help of a light and low-power warhead, they can be made an analogue of loitering ammunition.

Development trends


Over the past few years, the situation in the field of reconnaissance and strike UAVs has seriously changed. Previously, it was only about the development of promising models, and the adoption and launch of operation remained a matter of the future. In addition, there were no developments in some classes of technology.

To date, two projects of heavy UAVs with strike capabilities have been brought, at least, to production and experimental military operation. Another heavy vehicle is being tested and demonstrating a wide range of capabilities. The direction of loitering ammunition is being mastered and concepts that are new for our industry are proposed.

Thus, a major and important modernization of the unmanned aircraft of the armed forces is expected in the near future. A number of promising models will allow the aerospace forces and other structures to obtain fundamentally new capabilities and increase their potential. In addition, it will be possible to close the gap with the leading foreign countries. However, the desired results will not be obtained immediately and will require a lot of time and effort.
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  1. Mavrikiy
    Mavrikiy 4 March 2021 18: 09
    +1
    Until recently, the situation with domestic reconnaissance and strike unmanned aerial vehicles left much to be desired. It was reported about the development of several new models, but their entry into service was a matter of the distant future. By now, the situation has seriously changed and is conducive to optimism.
    Thanks to Karabakh. recourse
    1. OgnennyiKotik
      OgnennyiKotik 4 March 2021 18: 13
      +6
      Karabakh could not influence this, it was too recently. The main and first slap in the face was the fighting in the Idlib area in February 2020. After them, all projects began to be accelerated, real results emerged from long-term construction.
      1. Nasrat
        Nasrat 4 March 2021 18: 45
        +7
        Quote: OgnennyiKotik
        Karabakh could not influence this, it was too recently. The main and first slap in the face of steel battles in the Idlib area February 2020 years... After them, all projects began to be accelerated, real results appeared from long-term construction.

        Karabakh - September 2020 is too recent, and February 2020 is oh, how long ago !!! wassat
        1. Civil
          Civil 5 March 2021 07: 13
          +1
          If everything described in the article is true, then this changes the matter. The only pity is that for so many years there was a prejudiced attitude towards the "children's circle of aircraft modeling".
      2. Mavrikiy
        Mavrikiy 8 March 2021 14: 29
        +1
        Quote: OgnennyiKotik
        Karabakh could not influence this, it was too recently.

        It is easier to write nonsense than to understand that you have written nonsense. hi You can design, make samples, but the move and the series will not be. It was Karabakh who opened the shutter ...
    2. Dart2027
      Dart2027 4 March 2021 20: 21
      +2
      Quote: Mavrikiy
      Thanks to Karabakh.
      Not quite.
      The most successful of the domestic reconnaissance and strike UAVs can be considered the Orion complex, created as part of the Pioneer development work. This complex was designed since 2011, and since 2016, flight tests have been carried out. In 2018... experienced equipment was used in Syria as part of real operations.


      Flights of the experienced "Altius" started in 2016, but were later interrupted due to a change in developer and resumed in 2019.
    3. bayard
      bayard 5 March 2021 07: 58
      +1
      Quote: Mavrikiy
      Thanks to Karabakh.

      Thanks to the nighttime defeat at Palmyra and its loss. It was then that it became finally clear that without constant eyes in the air, control of territories and theater of operations is impossible. And without UAV weapons, the response time to a threat is often prohibitively long.
      So "Thank you Syria."
    4. Zaurbek
      Zaurbek 5 March 2021 09: 25
      +1
      Affected by the 2008 conflict in Georgia, when the Gerons flew and adjusted the artillery of the Georgian troops and could not do anything about it.
      1. Glory1974
        Glory1974 5 March 2021 12: 19
        +1
        Maybe so. I know that the developers received the pendal and the task from Serdyukov, after which the development of the UAV began.
  2. donavi49
    donavi49 4 March 2021 18: 21
    +4
    Well, the main thing is that the output does not come out as with unparalleled military radios from the new set - which in fact turned out to be Chinese, in Russian corps, and billions of fat went into the pockets.

    In the alleged radio shenanigans instructed to sort out twenty investigators of the Main Investigation Directorate of the TFR.
    Testimony of fraud and involvement in them Colonel General Arslanov gave the ex-boss 1st Directorate of the GUS of the Ministry of Defense Alexander Ogloblin, who was responsible for preparing specifications for future Azarts. It should be noted that himself Major General Ogloblin is under investigation in the case of embezzlement in the execution of military orders in Voentelecom JSC for more than 1 billion rubles. The telecom unit was also charged with General Arslanov. And then, again thanks to the ex-subordinate, the colonel-general was also accused of a bribe of 12 million rubles, allegedly received for actions in the interests of the Yaroslavl Radio Plant JSC. For a fee, the investigation now believes, the ex-chief The GUS of the Ministry of Defense lobbied for the interests of the enterprise, which, together with JSC NPO Angstrem, became a co-executor of contracts for the production and supply to the Azart aircraft. Now the general explained how in the performance of a contract totaling 18,5 billion rubles. could have stolen 6,7 billion.

    According to his version, this could be due to the fact that in the investigation of interest period, the radio stations were actually purchased in finished form in China, and with the addition of some components they were assembled in Russia, which made it possible to significantly save on production... Note that Several other defendants adhere to the same version, including the alleged former director of the Yaroslavl plant Sergey Yakushevaccused of bribery.

    For verification, the investigative-operational group conducted searches in the capital LLC "Alternative Capital", which includes the NGO "Angstrem". The founder of the LLC itself, which became the legal successor of the Angstrem Group LLC, is the former Minister of Communications and adviser to ex-President Dmitry Medvedev Leonid Reiman.

    Having studied the contracts seized in the company "Alternative Capital", the investigation decided to interrogate the representatives of the suppliers... One of them was Semikonika LLC. Its main activities are officially the supply of "storage batteries, parts and products made of plastics, silicone and aluminum under pressure", as well as "wholesale trade in electronic and telecommunications equipment." The company was registered in December 2016, that is, just in time for the contract for the production of Azart.

    At the same time, it was officially stated that the products were developed by Angstrem, the largest hi-tech project in Russia, which was launched by the former Minister of Communications Leonid Reiman with VEB's money. The Angstrem plant in Zelenograd was supposed to produce microchips and raised a $ 1 billion state loan, but in 2019 it was declared bankrupt. For 10 years, the company has not made a single loan payment.
    1. Intruder
      Intruder 4 March 2021 19: 18
      +4
      Well, the main thing is that the output does not come out as with unparalleled military radios from the new set - which in fact turned out to be Chinese, in Russian corps, and billions of fat went into the pockets.
      time will tell...
      Although if, in the article above, there are parts of truth, or somewhere nearby, then an interesting puzzle turns out:
      1.
      During this event, it was announced that during 2021 the armies will transfer six or seven new Orion complexes, each of which will include three UAVs and related equipment

      2. Then, there is an expansion of production capacity:
      By the end of the year, the company plans to put into operation a new serial plant, with the help of which it will be possible to increase production.

      3.
      It is very likely that, as a result of these events, the army will be able to receive at least 10 15 unmanned systems with several UAVs as part of each.

      Those. the new plant will allow raising output - up to 80-100% per year, or somewhere in that area .. and now an interesting question, how much will it cost the Ministry of Defense and the country's budget as a whole ... ??? wink
      1. Kart
        Kart 5 March 2021 14: 46
        -1
        Should I give it to liberal pensioners?
    2. prior
      prior 5 March 2021 09: 40
      +1
      Angstrem is a mirror of the state of the Russian electronics industry.
      Previously, a leading developer of domestic microcircuits with its own research institute, with a team of ten thousand.
      Today - a virtual bankrupt, where hundreds of people collect Taiwanese chips in Yoshkar-Ola buildings using the technology of the 80s, where the head of the OCD of the assembly production does not know Ohm's law (he was convinced personally). I will modestly keep silent about other engineering personnel. The salary of the testers of parts and devices is 30 - 000 rubles.
      Such is our microelectronics today .......
      And what will fly with such electronics?
      1. Kart
        Kart 5 March 2021 14: 47
        -4
        With this, we will not fly.
        With a normal Russian already flies.
        But you will never fly anything at all. Only if the USA donates a used one.
    3. businessv
      businessv 5 March 2021 14: 48
      0
      Quote: donavi49
      At the same time, it was officially stated that the products were developed by Angstrem, the largest hi-tech project in Russia, which was launched by the former Minister of Communications Leonid Reiman with VEB's money.
      And thus, these stupid bureaucrats act in all areas where their own technologies are needed! Why are they not tried for treason if they work for the RF Armed Forces ?! Thanks for the info, colleague, very interesting and outrageous! hi
  3. Vadim Ananyin
    Vadim Ananyin 4 March 2021 18: 24
    +13
    But the competence of the Tupolev design bureau was true for reactive ones, but at 90 they were all dispersed.
    And Israel was already engaged in this type of la, starting with the helicopter type.
    Now we are in the role of a catch-up, again and for some reason ?!
    But the top management will get the hell out of the car!
    1. WHAT IS
      WHAT IS 4 March 2021 18: 47
      +13
      Hopefully, we will catch up, the gap is not critical yet.
      But the top management will get the hell out of the car!

      Unfortunately, this has long become commonplace:
      one is plowing in the field, seven are waving their hands.
    2. Rubi0
      Rubi0 4 March 2021 22: 14
      +4
      So the chief designer of the Kronstadt company, which makes Orions, just designed the bee complex back in 80, and then founded his own company and raised investments, so there are also smart techie managers.
      1. Vadim Ananyin
        Vadim Ananyin 4 March 2021 22: 31
        +2
        I remember about the bee, but somehow it quickly baked because of the mess that was in the 90's.
        An engineer can turn out to be a manager, but on the contrary, not, it has been proven by time and science.
  4. Bez 310
    Bez 310 4 March 2021 19: 08
    0
    So what are these "successes"?
    Primitive "Orlan" and as many as 3 (three) pieces of "Orion"?
    Yes ... the Chinese are right, here we are behind the whole planet,
    and we have no serious UAVs ...
    1. OgnennyiKotik
      OgnennyiKotik 4 March 2021 19: 16
      +2

      Seljuk Bayraktar gave an interview on February 21:

      “At the first stage, we will transfer 6 Akinci attack UAVs to the Turkish Armed Forces. They are capable of not only destroying enemy ground targets, but also any air targets. "
      “The commissioning of the new Akinci attack UAVs will significantly reduce the workload on our Air Force. We have F-16 fighters protecting our airspace every day. UAVs can take on some of the patrol missions and thus lighten the burden for our air force, because drones are able to stay in the air much longer than fighters, and they lack the human factor, which is also important. "

      BAYKAR CEO Haluk Bayraktar:

      We are working on an attack UAV with vertical take-off / landing capability for our amphibious assault helicopter carrier (light aircraft carrier) TCG Anadolu
      1. Intruder
        Intruder 4 March 2021 21: 54
        +3
        We are working on an attack UAV with vertical take-off / landing capability for our amphibious assault helicopter carrier (light aircraft carrier) TCG Anadolu
        hmm ..., an interesting "hello" for foreign MA of the Navy is being prepared by the Ottomans, but if a naval version of a mega-copter with an air-launched missile system and light anti-ship missiles is also "rolled out", many corvettes and all sorts of MRKs were crying !? Although, with their speed .., it is quite possible that everything will work out! fellow
        1. OgnennyiKotik
          OgnennyiKotik 4 March 2021 22: 09
          +2
          The question, of course, is what exactly they do. They launched the development of a jet UAV. If I adapt it, it will be very serious.
          Takeoff on solid-propellant boosters, landing with aerofinishers.
          They can also tiltrotor, but it's more difficult.
          Maybe something less like Hero-900/1250. Start also on accelerators, landing by parachute (well, or one way, he is a kamikaze)








          The Turks will have such a UDC. In principle, there is a springboard, a jet UAV will take off anyway.
          1. Intruder
            Intruder 5 March 2021 00: 19
            +2
            They launched the development of a jet UAV. If I adapt it, it will be very serious.
            can blind and VTOL aircraft in the UAV area, then a springboard is not needed, though the range will be lame ...
            There can be a tiltrotor, but it's more difficult.
            well ... if the design is scaled correctly, then there are no technical problems: the engines allow, the nacelle drives have been worked out for a long time and all this has been successfully flying with live "ballast" for many years, the avionics are also available, plus the takeoff weight is clearly less will be than the manned versions !?
            1. OgnennyiKotik
              OgnennyiKotik 5 March 2021 00: 25
              +1
              We are talking about Turkey, not the United States. VTOL aircraft and tiltrotor are very complex and expensive designs. It is not a problem for the United States to make and purchase them, for other countries it is very difficult. Simple and cheap solutions are needed.
              In the order of delirium, takeoff on accelerators, landing a parachute and into the net. It is more than realistic for us to do this for our UDCs.


              1. Intruder
                Intruder 5 March 2021 00: 46
                +2
                In the order of delirium, takeoff on accelerators, landing a parachute and into the net.
                in the order of carelessness - then it's easier and not in a net, but on floats, if the parachute is on board !?
                Accelerators, but the point is .. if there is already a springboard, plus again an increase in the price of the solution as a whole, all the more so !?
                It is more than realistic for us to do this for our UDCs.

                And we have a lot of UDCs, or there are ready-made complexes with all the machinery that can be put on these UDCs, at the Russian Navy! ??? laughing wink
        2. OgnennyiKotik
          OgnennyiKotik 5 March 2021 22: 34
          +2
          Quote: Intruder
          Although, with their speed .., it is quite possible that everything will work out!

          Turkey has a hell of a pace in the development of weapons. Stupid news for the week. And that is not all horrible.

          Here's another cargo UAV
          1. Intruder
            Intruder 6 March 2021 12: 33
            0
            Turkey has a hell of a pace in the creation of weapons.
            take the historical experience of the German Empire, the only question is: where and when will they implement all their developments !? wink
            1. OgnennyiKotik
              OgnennyiKotik 6 March 2021 12: 39
              +2
              Rather, China. Most of it goes directly to export, they do not have the richest aircraft. M-48 is still in service. This is exactly the correct system of taxation and grants, which make it possible to create domestic samples of equipment. And will buy them their own Army or someone else's, the second question.
              1. Intruder
                Intruder 6 March 2021 13: 21
                +1
                Rather, China. Most of it goes directly to export, they do not have the richest aircraft. M-48 is still in service.
                well, China, well done - the world workshop and mega-plant of planet Earth winked , although if you have 1 billion "free hands", you may not stir up that much ...
                And whether their own Army or someone else's will buy them, the second question.
                for your own it is possible and in a better way to make samples, but for export in a secondary circle, and so ..., domestic samples are always "closer" to the heart of a soldier - than overseas ("eggplant caviar ..") !? wink
                1. OgnennyiKotik
                  OgnennyiKotik 6 March 2021 13: 25
                  +1
                  Quote: Intruder
                  to the heart of a soldier - than overseas ("eggplant caviar ..") !?

                  In general, the soldier does not care who the weapon is made by, he needs the weapon to be the best. You need more chances to survive and to complete the task.
    2. Intruder
      Intruder 4 March 2021 19: 21
      +5
      Primitive "Orlan" and as many as 3 (three) pieces of "Orion"?
      "Eagle", if my memory serves me right winked , a good replica of Israeli drones from the early 00s !? Orion is a kind reworking of a number of schemes already in use in other states and companies ...
  5. rocket757
    rocket757 4 March 2021 19: 20
    +2
    However, the desired results will not be obtained immediately and will require a lot of time and effort.

    This is understandable and success in all projects, production.
  6. evgen1221
    evgen1221 4 March 2021 19: 35
    +2
    About 30 Orions a year, which is a meager production volume.
    1. OgnennyiKotik
      OgnennyiKotik 4 March 2021 19: 43
      -2
      If so, then this is a very good result. There is no sense in buying more than 150-200 of these UAVs.
  7. Alexey Zigalov
    Alexey Zigalov 4 March 2021 21: 22
    0
    Dear colleagues, the first spa
  8. Tavrik
    Tavrik 4 March 2021 21: 30
    +2
    Quote: Intruder
    "Orlan", if my memory serves me right, is a good copy of Israeli drones, back in the early 00s !?

    Your memory is cheating on you. This is about the Outpost.
  9. Alexey Zigalov
    Alexey Zigalov 4 March 2021 21: 50
    -2
    Dear colleagues, thanks to Kiril, I am already bored and here are your comments !!!!! I am very glad that there are professionals who speak the truth. I join. The state of the level of development of unmanned aircraft in the early 2000s both in the concept of application and in quality and in production. The value of contracts for these 20 years is top-secret information and strangers are not allowed. What kind of rearmament of the army can we talk about?
    1. Kart
      Kart 5 March 2021 14: 51
      -3
      Quote: Alexey Zigalov
      The cost of contracts for these 20 years is top-secret information and strangers are not allowed. What kind of rearmament of the army can we talk about?

      Yeah, as soon as strangers stick their nose in, everything will work right there.
      Someone else or what?
  10. Zaurbek
    Zaurbek 5 March 2021 09: 29
    +1
    The topic of airborne radar airborne vehicles is being used by all countries ... and the example of Azerbaijan is that without numerous and expensive air forces, you can harm the enemy like that. Somewhere the UAVs themselves will strike, somewhere they will correct the artillery and OTRK, and somewhere they will replace satellite reconnaissance ......... and the second bad example is the events in the DPR and LPR, where Ukraine lost its Air Force ...
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