Aerial missiles and bombs will receive stealth protection. Special pods that will make the weapons invisible for enemy radars have been developed for them. The ammunition will be simply placed in these pods. UAVs will be the first to receive stealth bombs. The drones themselves are practically invisible for radars, but missiles installed under their wings allow the enemy to detect them. The pods will enhance the effectiveness of UAVs on the battlefield, experts note.
The pods for air-to-surface missiles and aerial bombs that will be installed on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have already been tested. Their delivery to the army will begin in the nearest future, sources in the Ministry of Defense told The Izvestiya.
Pods for FAB bombs
The pods are made of aluminum and special plastic with low radar signal reflection capacity. Before application, classical FAB type high-explosive aerial bombs will be placed into cases and installed on the drone’s external store racks. The ammunition will be dropped together with the pod.
An individual “package” will be made for each missile and guided aerial bomb type. For that purpose, the standard metal casing, stabilizers and fins, if any, will be replaced with those made of aluminum and plastic.
The new ammunition line will drastically increase the effectiveness of UAVs operation in combat environment, defense expert Anton Lavrov told The Izvestiya.
— The stealth pods will allow to reduce drone visibility, which will enhance the survivability of UAVs in areas with heavy anti-aircraft defense activity, — he noted. — Drones will also be able to carry out surprise strikes. They will be used against well-protected stationary targets; for example, field fortifications, fire positions, standalone buildings and structures where the enemy is located, as well as gun stations and aerial defense emplacements. Besides that, the invisibility for radars will also enhance drone effectiveness during special operations.
New generation of drones
The new generation drones Orion, Forpost and Altius will become the carriers of the invisible weapons. The Altius is the most interesting vehicle among them, although not a lot of information about it is available so far. At the moment, the drone is passing through tests; it took off on its maiden flight this August. The UAV flew in an automatic mode, all standard main and auxiliary drone systems operated without any malfunctions.
The twin-engine reconnaissance and attack UAV Altius weighs about 6–7 tons and will be capable of patrolling the target area at a cruise speed of 150–250 km/h for over two days. The drone’s two-way satellite communication will enable it to fly for at least 1,000 km, the only limiting factor being the quantity of fuel on board.
The maximum take-off weight will allow the drone to carry a maximum of 2 tons of weapon payload, which will turn the UAV into an unmanned assault aircraft. This level of performance will make it possible to install missiles and bombs, including high precision ones, on board the UAV.
Two 500 kg “smart” bombs will enable the drone to make powerful localized in-depth strikes against enemy command stations and important infrastructure facilities. The UAV is also capable of performing the entire range of reconnaissance functions utilizing optical, radiotechnical and radar means. This makes the aircraft a virtually ideal aerial saboteur.
It will be useful not only in the event of full-scale conflicts, but also during counterterrorist operations, such as in Syria. Besides that, the vehicle’s potential allows to adapt it for fighting surface sea targets, including large ships.
The delivery of the Forpost-M assault UAVs to the army will commence soon. A state-of-the-art radar and optical systems and precision guided bombs will be installed on board the vehicle. Thanks to the new equipment, the Forpost-M will be able to find, identify and kill targets without assistance regardless of the time of the day and in any weather conditions. Targets will be killed using precision guided aerial bombs, for example.
The 500 kg drone has a considerable fuel reserve and can operate within a maximum radius of 250 km from the base position, develop a speed of over 200 km/h and remain airborne for up to 17 hours.
Finally, works for finalization of the long flight duration UAV Orion are close to completion. The vehicle is capable of remaining airborne for 24 hours, which makes it possible to use it for long time patrol missions. Due to its V-shaped stabilizers, it resembles the American drone MQ-1 Reaper.
Assault UAVs, even improvised ones, can inflict serious damage to an enemy who has anti-aircraft means. Thus, blasts sounded and heavy fires began at refineries in the Abqaiq and Khurais areas in Saudi Arabia on September 14. Later on, it became known that they were attacked by at least ten drones and guided missiles of Yemeni Houthi rebels.
Source – Izvestiya