THUNDER UAV Displayed for the First Time at ARMY-2020

A model of the "Thunder" unmanned aerial vehicle was shown for the first time at the ARMY-2020 Forum. The new "stealth" unmanned aerial vehicle should be used in conjunction with the Su-35 and Su-57 aircraft to ensure the destruction of ground air defence systems and the destruction of well-protected ground targets.

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The UAV has the dimensions of a light fighter and has a high transonic speed (1000 km/h). The stealth capabilities of the new device are provided by the design feature and the placement of weapons weighing up to 2000 kg in the inner compartment. In case of successful progress of the programme for the creation of "Thunder" UAV, one can expect its first flight to take place in the next 2-3 years.

Of particular interest are the means of destruction - corrected aerial bombs and guided missiles shown at ARMY-2020. For the first time, the guided missiles "product 85" and "Kha-50" developed by Tactical Missile Corporation (KTRV), as well as a wide range of corrected and gliding bombs of 20 and 50 kg calibers are shown. The appearance of such ammunition means that unmanned aerial vehicles of the Russian Aerospace Forces will be able to perform high-precision strike operations. It should be noted that earlier, under the name "Kha-50", the general public was aware of an air-launched medium-range cruise missile project "product 715", which, probably, was mistakenly attributed as "Kha-50".

The appearance of a model of a long-duration drone "Helios" with the capabilities of long-range radar detection of air targets may solve the problem of creating a continuous radar field in the Arctic. Probably, the new device will have to compete with the already flying UAV "Altius", which also belongs to the devices with a long flight duration. The question is whether the private company Kronshtadt will have enough strength to bring such difficult projects to a successful conclusion.

Dimitry Kornev

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