Unmanned horizons of Belarus
Belarus is implementing a program to create unmanned aviation systems, trying to be in the global trend. A number of companies are working on UAV projects of various classes and types. Perhaps the best place to get acquainted with the current state of affairs in this area is the MILEX International Salon of Arms and Military Equipment. The 7th exhibition took place in Minsk after a three-year break.
The greatest development in Belarus, as in other countries, received unmanned systems of the mini-class. First of all, it is worth mentioning the already in service "Bercut-1" and "Bercut-2", which were exhibited in the open area of the company "Agat - Control Systems".
The first is designed to search and detect ground and surface objects and determine their coordinates. An apparatus weighing about 3,5 a kilogram can be in the air for up to one and a half hours, monitor and receive real-time photos, tele- and thermal images of the terrain within a radius of up to 15 kilometers from the ground control station. Heavier "Bercut-2" provides operation at distances up to 35 kilometers for a maximum of two hours. It is curious that both complexes are modernized versions of the Russian systems Irkut-3 and Irkut-10, developed by the corporation of the same name.
It should be noted the development of the Military Academy of the Republic of Belarus. Here, for a long time engaged in the creation of a mini-UAV, control systems and systems in general. Corresponding developments could be seen at previous MILEX stores. This year, the Academy presented to the public two systems: NTLyot and Mosquito.
The complex with the "Mosquito" UAV was demonstrated three years ago. A small device with a mass of about two kilograms, executed according to the “flying wing” scheme, can be airborne for up to 35 minutes. The complex is intended for remote tracking of the selected site by the operator, automated detection of objects under observation, determination of their geographical coordinates and subsequent transfer of the received information to consumers. It is expected that in the fall this complex will be adopted by the special operations forces of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus.
“NTLyot” is somewhat larger, its take-off weight is more than nine kilograms. It can be in the air up to 1,5 hours, flying at distances up to 25 kilometers from the ground control station. The complex, created in cooperation with the NTLab-IS company, as noted in the materials presented at the stand of the Military Academy, is designed to monitor the earth and water surface. It can be used for long-term covert observation of mobile and stationary objects in real time, detection of objects of observation, determination of their geographical coordinates with the subsequent transfer of the received information to consumers and testing (debugging) of onboard radioelectronic components.
For several years, the Physico-Technical Institute of the National Academy of Sciences (IIT) has been developing and creating UAV complexes for civilian use in Belarus. At MILEX-2014, three systems of the mini-class of the Busel family, created under the corresponding state program, were shown. The devices are made according to the classic aircraft scheme with two engines with pulling screws and differ only in take-off weight, varying from 6 to 12 kilograms depending on the model, dimensions, tail assembly and payload composition, which may include various TV and IR cameras. The systems are intended for video monitoring of terrain and objects, for tracking and guarding, fire detection, monitoring of agricultural land, landscape shooting, etc.
According to the developers, the complexes with the UAV “Busel” and “Busel M” are already being mass-produced in the interests of the Belarusian Ministry of Emergency Situations, as well as for export. State tests of the third of the complexes - “Busel М50”, are expected to be completed this year.
Systems of the so-called Shadow-class are among the most sought-after in the world. Their benefits include sufficient payload, allowing you to install equipment for conducting reconnaissance and surveillance in good resolution, combined with a reasonable cost. At the exhibition in Minsk two systems of tactical class were displayed at once - one for military use, the second for civilian and special.
At the static exposition of the Agat - Control Systems company, it was possible to observe a complex with a tactical-class UAV “1 Grif”. The development was carried out for more than three years under the state program of development of UAV systems in Belarus. In addition to "Agatha", national companies took part in it: INDELA, KVAND, LEMT, "NTLab-IS". The production of the UAV is deployed on the basis of the 558 aircraft repair plant in Baranavichy.
The “1 neck” with a maximum take-off weight of about 150 kilograms can fly for up to five hours, carrying equipment with a total weight of up to 20 kilograms on board. The payload includes plug-ins for specific and electronic intelligence, as well as for EW. According to Agat - Control Systems, the general director of the company, Yuri Mosienko, the complex has now been tested by the Ministry of Defense of Belarus and will be mass-produced from the 2015 year.
The mentioned FTI NAS at MILEX-2014 for the first time demonstrated the Burevestnik complex to the public with a home-made UAV of 250 take-off weight of kilograms. According to the developers, he is able to fly to a range of 290 kilometers, lasting up to six hours. On board is the target load, including a gyro-stabilized optical-electronic monitoring module comprising TV, photo and IR cameras, as well as a laser rangefinder and radiation monitoring tools.
The complex was created in the interests of the Republican Ministry of Emergency Situations. However, the developers along with the Ministry of Emergency Situations name other civilian and special applications, including the control of public law and order, the border and adjacent territories, environmental protection, implementation of monitoring tasks in forestry and agriculture, etc.
Helicopters under the order
Unmanned helicopters are quite rare compared to aircraft-type UAVs, which is associated with great technical difficulties, as well as substantial financial costs. Nevertheless, at “MILEX” two similar systems with UAVs of various classes could be seen at once. The first one is already heard. This system is INSKY Minsk company INDELA, known for its developments in the field of unmanned aircraft.
The complex with the INSKY UAV has already been demonstrated earlier, in particular at MILEX-2011 and MAX-2013. However, this year the developers brought to the exhibition, as stated by the company's general designer, Vladimir Chudakov, a significantly updated version.
Multipurpose complex with medium-range INSKY UAVs can be used in the interests of both military and civilian customers. A light helicopter with a take-off weight of about 125 kilograms can fly for up to five hours. With on-board reconnaissance and surveillance equipment, information in visible and thermal wavelengths is transmitted to the ground control station in real time. The range of the UAV complex reaches 100 kilometers.
Started mass production of the complex. INDELA does not disclose buyers, indicating only that the customers are foreigners.
The second of the mentioned helicopter-type unmanned aerial vehicles was made by the Kwand IS company. At the company's booth, a Surveyor H complex with a UVH-29E helicopter was displayed. This unit is much smaller than the INSKY BLA, it has a take-off mass of just 25 kilograms. According to the company, it is equipped with its own control system that allows you to automatically take off, land and move along the route. The complex is positioned by developers as a video surveillance and monitoring system, load delivery, jamming, retransmission, target positioning and illumination, as well as a flying research laboratory.
Unmanned airship BAK EM refers to small-sized aeronautic-type vehicles. Its length is just 8,7 meters, shell diameter is about 2,5 meters. The airship raises up to three kilograms of observation equipment to a height of up to 500 meters. According to the developers, the complex can be used with wind load up to 8 m / s. At the same time, in a calm airship can be in the air up to 11 hours, providing data transfer over distances up to 50 kilometers.
In 2013, BAK-EM passed the stage of state tests, after which it was refined to be applicable at wind speeds up to 14 m / s. Tests of the new version has already begun. It is expected that this year the unmanned airship will receive a serial letter. According to the developers, today there is a valid contract for the supply of one complex to a foreign customer.
With my own strength
The global trend in equipping military and special structures with various unmanned and robotic systems did not pass by Belarus. At the same time, it is obvious that customers from the country's law enforcement agencies are forced to act with an eye on financial constraints.
As a result, the specifics of the Belarusian market of corresponding weapon systems and military equipment consist mainly in self-orientation. Foreign developers of UAV systems present at MILEX were represented exclusively by China, which in recent years has been participating almost everywhere. However, in the Celestial Empire, it is more likely to turn out to supply Belarusian customers with certain subsystems and element base than final products.
The state program for the creation and production of UAV complexes includes two large subprograms. One focuses on multifunctional UAVs, components and production technologies. The second involves the creation of military complexes. The process of creating modern UAV systems in Belarus is not fast, however, some positive developments in this part can be seen now, which, in fact, was demonstrated by MILEX.
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