The Russian Ministry of Defense has conducted comparative tests of more than 20 Russian unmanned aerial vehicles and their follow-up decided to buy a few games for UAVs "large-scale equip all formations and units," the Army. Rather surprising move, given that not so long ago, the Russian military fended off the very possibility of purchase of domestic vehicles and even started a joint production of Israeli drones.
Russia — Russian
On completion of the tests unmanned Russian Ground Forces have reported at the end of September 2010. It was reported that in tests with 22 participants apparatus, which produced a total of 56 sorties. For domestic "drones" that perform various tasks, you should commission headed by the commander in chief of the Ground Forces, Colonel General Alexander Postnikov. Specific results of the tests then were not made public, but the Commission announced that "the domestic producers of complexes with UAVs have made significant progress in efforts to improve their designs."
It was very flattering assessment, given that as recently as April 2010, First Deputy Defense Minister of Russia Vladimir Popovkin said the Defense Ministry held unsuccessful trials Russian drones, spending on them five billion rubles. Earlier, Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and the Russian Air Force Commander Alexander Zelin said that Russian UAVs do not satisfy the requirements of the military on either count, and thus equipping them to take on the impossible.
November 2, 2010 the situation changed dramatically. According to the spokesman of the Press and Information of the Ministry of Defense of Russia Sergey Vlasov ground forces, the new tests of domestic drones was completed in late October 2010. The military were satisfied with the results, and the Ministry of Defence has offered to buy several lots UAV for the Army. The exact list of favorite military vehicles Vlasov did not name, but said that he got the UAV "Orlan" produced by "Special Technology Center", "Swallow" of Zala and "Aileron" Company "Enix".
"Special Technology Center" produces several variants of the UAV "Orlan" — "White-3", "White-10" and "White-30." These devices are capable of speeds up to 150-170 kilometers per hour and take on board reconnaissance equipment weighing from 1.8 to seven pounds. Flight altitude UAVs, depending on the model varies from 4.5 to 7,000 meters and the range — 100 to 600 kilometers. The devices can be in the air for three to 16 hours. Starting the "eagles" is carried out on the principle of an aircraft or with a special catapult.
In turn, the 421-04M «Swallow," which is manufactured by Zala, capable of speeds up to 120 kilometers per hour and take on board equipment weighing up to a kilogram. According to the manufacturer, "Swallow" can accelerate to 165 kilometers per hour, but the maximum velocity of the vehicle is limited to the software to keep a balance between speed and duration of flight. The device, built on a "flying wing", is able to fly at altitudes of up to 3.6 thousand meters, and its range is 25 miles. "Swallow" is launched by catapult and landing by parachute.
"Aileron" drone, which a few months ago was praised Airborne Troops Commander Lt. Gen. Vladimir Shamanov is available in two versions — "Aileron-3" and "Aileron-10." These devices are capable of flying at a speed of 110-120 kilometers per hour and at an altitude of three to five thousand meters. The take-off mass of drones is from 3.8 to 12 pounds, and the duration of the flight — 1.5-2 hours. Launching is by using a rubber harness and a pneumatic catapult.
In the tests, Russian drones focused on the quality of the intelligence provided by machines, precision positioning and UAV capabilities to broadcast data on a time scale close to real. Specific calculations for tests, as well as the participants of the event, not called. Vlasov said only that "it is estimated that over the last year domestic manufacturers of UAVs are well advanced."
As far as these words are true, hard to judge. All of these drones already in existence at the end of 2009, when the military domestic machines were still dissatisfied. In principle, the Russian Defense Ministry could change its attitude under the pressure of manufacturers, who were forced to develop almost at his own expense. In such circumstances, not to create a truly competitive product, but the situation could change if the producers will get government funding.
On the other hand, the Russian industry can catch up when I saw the watch out for the benefit — formerly the Ministry of Defense has acquired several lots Israeli drones for a total of $ 153 million, and later — kits to build another 400 million. In place of these devices could theoretically be Russian drones. September 10, 2010 CEO of the concern "Vega" failed to launch in 2009 UAV "Stork", Vladimir Verba argued that the Russian manufacturers of civilian and military vehicles will catch up with foreign counterparts by 2013.
On its feet
Perhaps the solution of large-scale purchases of Russian drones should be seen as an attempt to revive the Russian Ministry of Defence industry is a world leader in the Soviet times and in times of crisis extinct 1990s. In July 2010 it was announced that Russia buys Israeli drones in small amounts in order to study their performance and to teach the domestic defense industry to produce anything that rivals their counterparts.
However, it turns out that the Russian military is very strange ideas about the "small numbers". In June 2009, the War Department bought 12 UAVs from Israel in the amount of 53 million dollars. He was later signed a second contract for the supply of 36 Israeli UAVs in the amount of one hundred million dollars, and in April 2010, the general director of the State Corporation "Russian Technologies" Chemezov announced the purchase of 15 more "drones." It was reported that on the basis of the Russian military units are trained to manage the drones. Well, it's not the quantity of Israeli vehicles.
Impediments to the creation of competitive products in the Russian industry set. One of them, according to the Russian company "Vega", is the absence of Russian technologies of small engines. Such power plants, however, are produced in Ukraine Zaporozhye company "Motor-Sich". "Vega" is planning to buy these engines and conducts negotiations with the Ukrainian manufacturers. It is not excluded, and the establishment of a joint venture that will provide power plants Russian "drones."
September 9, 2010 Serdyukov announced that Russia will begin production of various types of UAVs with foreign companies. In particular, the Russian Federation will be a joint Russian-Israeli company producing UAVs. It will be presented to the Israeli state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries. As a result of this cooperation Russia intends to acquire Israeli unmanned technologies that will help the domestic industry to make a step forward in the creation of the UAV. Of course, to produce military vehicles Russia, Israel does not learn. He created his first drone strike Harop recently and these technologies are
unlikely to want to share.
Other complications can be safely attributed funding shortage of highly qualified personnel specializing in the creation of this type of defense products, and, oddly enough, the lack of well-defined concepts of procurement and use of drones. However, in the world today intelligence "drones" have become an integral part of warfare, and the Russian Ministry of Defense to keep up with neighbors on the planet, apparently, is not going to.
But will it help buying foreign technology Russia to regain lost ground in the global market for UAVs is difficult to say. Domestic manufacturers of UAVs will catch foreign counterparts, using their experience, and those, in turn, will continue to go on. In addition, it is important not to transgress the brink of separating the use of foreign technology to develop their own original product and complete dependence on them.