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WorldAsiaThe Russian armed forces in the Donbass need a loitering pipe and...

The Russian armed forces in the Donbass need a loitering pipe and a Hunter helicopter


The special operation in Ukraine clearly demonstrated that the era of manned attack aircraft is rapidly and steadily fading into the past. The oversaturation of enemy positions in the Donbass with various air defense systems, from MANPADS to air defense systems, requires a large-scale transition to the use of drones to attack them. What alternatives do the RF Armed Forces have to hastily “finish” domestic drones and “badge design” Iranian drones?

The need for inventions is cunning

Studying the experience of using unmanned aircraft in the NVO zone in Ukraine, the author of the lines had to pay attention to the home-made modernization of drones that military personnel on both sides of the front line have to do . So, for example, our military taught the initially purely reconnaissance drone of the Orlan-10 aircraft type to drop high-explosive fragmentation munitions suspended under them. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the Armed Forces of Ukraine actively use ordinary Chinese-made civilian quadrocopters equipped with a system for dropping homemade grenades or mines.

It is obvious that all this is not made of a good life, but of the urgent need for unmanned bombers and attack aircraft. Moreover, the “shell hunger” that has formed at the front pushes such improvised decisions by the military on both sides. Sending in a drone for aerial reconnaissance and immediately dropping several high-explosive cluster munitions over the enemy’s head turns out to be a very tempting option. Moreover, the author has repeatedly heard the arguments of our fighters on the subject that it would be good to somehow fix an anti-tank grenade launcher on a quadcopter and plant it from there high on the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, armored vehicles, firing posts located in apartments of multi-storey buildings.

The most interesting thing is that the corresponding technical solutions have existed for a long time, and not somewhere there, in the hostile countries of the collective West and their henchmen, but in friendly and allied Belarus. Yes, a few days ago we talked about reconnaissance drones, of which Minsk has a huge variety, for every taste and budget. Today we will talk about Belarusian strike drones in the hope that soon they will appear in service with the RF Armed Forces and save more lives of our servicemen.

Case “pipe”

In fact, the idea of ​​​​combining a grenade launcher and a quadcopter was born a long time ago, and not in the nightmare of a positional war in the Donbass. In 2018, at a conference of the Ministry of Defense of Belarus devoted to the development of drones, the Quadro-1600 and Loitering Tube products were presented. At the MILEX-2019 exhibition, the developer of KB Display presented ready-made samples. What are they?

These are strike reconnaissance drones created according to a helicopter scheme with several groups of propellers based on electric motors. The heaviest of the family is the Quadro-1600 unmanned vehicle measuring 1.5 x 1.5 m in plan and about 500-600 mm high with eight motors and propellers. Its take-off weight is 45 kg, speed – 40 km / h, flight time – 25 minutes. The drone is able to fly away from the operator for 6 km, its armament consists of two RPG-26 rocket-propelled anti-tank grenades, suspended on a mobile installation under the hull.

Based on this, a lighter version of the Quadro-1400 was later developed with a reduced number of electric motors and a simpler quadcopter circuit. In terms of size, the Quadro-1400 is close to the 1600 type drone, but its weight has been reduced to 35 kg, the range has decreased to 5 km, but the flight time has remained the same. The Belarusian attack drone is armed with two RPG-26s placed above the hull on a rocker launcher.

The youngest of this family is the Flâneur Pipe UBAK. The dimensions of the quadcopter are 750 x 750 mm, height – 350 mm, weight – 12 kg. The battery allows it to stay in the air for 15 minutes. The armament is more modest – a single RPG – 26. The RPG – 26 Aglen grenade has a mass of 2.9 kg and is equipped with a 72.5 mm caliber shot, its cumulative warhead pierces 440 mm of homogeneous armor . No refinement of the grenade before installation on the stroller pipe is required.

These devices are initially percussion, but they can also perform reconnaissance functions due to the presence of not only automatic cocking for a grenade launcher, but also navigation, including satellite navigation, which provides rapid movement from the drone to the target, a thermal camera, heading and aiming cameras, which make it possible to fly day and night, universal devices which make it possible to widen the range of ammunition used. That’s what the doctor ordered for positional fighting in urban areas. The operator can launch the UAV for reconnaissance and immediately launch an airstrike on enemy positions or armored vehicles. After firing back, the Belarusian drone can return to reload.

Imagine how much easier it would be to clean up the Donbass settlements fortified by the armed forces of Ukraine, how many lives of the Russian army could be saved if the armed forces of the Russian Federation and Wagner’s assault squads were massively similar structurally elementary complexes were used!

“Suicide bomber”

The main “stars” of 2022 during the JMD were Russian-Iranian drones, known as “Geran”, capable of hitting targets deep in enemy territory. Domestic disposable “lancets” and “cubes” work for us right up front. However, the intensity of the use of kamikazes by the RF armed forces against enemy positions and armored vehicles could also be increased at the expense of Belarusian drones. Yes, JSC 558 Aviation Repair Plant presented its own developments in the field of kamikaze drones for the first time in June 2021. This is a drone called “Chekan” and “Lovchiy”.

UBAK-25, or Chekan, is a kamikaze drone designed to destroy various targets: enemy personnel, lightly armored vehicles, various artillery positions, mortars, etc. The tactical range is up to 25 km from the starting point. The UAV is equipped with a high-explosive fragmentation warhead; it is also possible to use a shaped charge to work on enemy armored vehicles.

UBAK – 70, aka “Hunter”, is an aircraft of a heavier class. Its combat load is 20 kg, the radius of application is up to 70 km, the time in the air is up to 8 hours. “Lovchiy” can carry unguided aerial bombs, but a variant with guided weapons is also being developed – small corrective charges for destroying manpower and armored vehicles, including tanks and infantry fighting vehicles.


Finally, I would like to draw attention to the Belarusian reconnaissance and strike unmanned helicopter produced by the design bureau “Unmanned Helicopters” called “Hunter”. Its performance is quite serious: weight – 750 kg, payload – 200 kg, flight time up to nine hours, speed up to 180 km/h, flight altitude up to 3000 m. “Hunter” was developed to seek out and destroy equipment, enemy manpower and even aerial targets, including other drones. The helicopter is able to recognize transport at a distance of up to 10 km, and a person – up to 5-6 km. The ground station allows you to control two drones at once for paired outings.

This is a novelty of the Belarusian defense industry, which was presented at the MILEX-2021 international arms exhibition in Minsk. Hunter interested the Russian military, and a year later, at the Army-2022 international military-technical forum, the BAS-750 universal unmanned aerial system from the Russian Helicopters holding was presented as a joint project with Belarusian partners. Certainly, there is a significant difference between these two drones.

In particular, the Russian BAS-750 is designed for cargo transportation and is also capable of carrying out search operations, aerial photography, monitoring of agricultural land, roads, water bodies, oil infrastructure and gas, power lines, communications and pipelines. But its Belarusian prototype is militarized to the maximum: it is equipped with a 7.62 mm Kalashnikov machine gun of a tank modification with an ammunition load of 550 rounds, eight 57 mm unguided rockets and 16 anti-tank bombs . The unmanned helicopter carries on board a radar missile protection station, a radiation warning station and a barrier radar. “Hunter” was originally designed for combat operations in urban areas, its task is to destroy enemy firing points in hard-to-reach places. The aircraft is fully robotic, to accomplish the task it is necessary to set the target and the direction, however, the use of weapons by the drone is possible only by its operator, who controls the UAV remotely .

True, “flying grenade launchers”, Belarusian suicide drones and unmanned helicopters created for urban battles would be useful to the Russian army in the liberation of Donbass.

Author: Sergey Marzhetsky Photos used: Homoatrox/

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