Russia tries building own unmanned combat aerial vehicle

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Russian Kronstadt company has unveiled a concept of newest stealth unmanned aircraft during the sixth International Military and Technical Forum Army-2020 in the Patriot Park near Moscow.

The new aircraft, called the Grom (Thunder), to be a runway-independent, reusable unmanned air vehicle capable of a broad range of operational missions.

The Grom is an unmanned attack aircraft capable of performing intelligence, surveillance, and intelligence, strike, and electronic warfare missions either on its own, as a loyal wing working together with a manned aircraft, or in a networked autonomous swarm.

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“The unmanned vehicle has a mass of seven tons and a payload of about 500 kilograms,” said Nikolay Dolzhenkov, general designer of the Kronstadt company. “The new drone will operate in one connection with the Su-35 and Su-57 fighters.”

Russian first home-made stealth unmanned combat aerial vehicle will be a copy of a Kratos’ XQ-58A Valkyrie with some refinements, according to analysts.

The Valkyrie system, developed by Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems in partnership with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) on the Low-Cost Attritable Strike Demonstrator (LCASD) Program, is a low-cost, multi-mission, runway-independent unmanned air vehicle capable of long-range flights and high-subsonic speeds intended to support a variety of defense mission applications. In addition to the Valkyrie’s extreme survivability and adaptability, as part of the Low-Cost Attritable Aircraft Technology portfolio, it is designed to break the escalating cost trajectory of tactically relevant aircraft.

XQ-58A demonstrator during the second test flight on June 11, 2019. Photo by 2nd Lt Randolph Abaya, 586 Flight Test Squadron.

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