Russian weapon manufacturer Techmash plans to adapt its products for use on drones

Russian weapon manufacturer Techmash plans to adapt its products for use on drones
A Ukrainian company called Matrix UAV has developed a small drone called the Demon that can carry guns, explosives, or a rocket-propelled grenade for use against armored vehicles.

Ukrainian engineer and Matrix founder Yuriy Kasyanov posted a video of the prototype drone to his Facebook page.

“Armed with a grenade launcher, the unit is designed to inflict sudden, precise strikes on armored vehicles, fire points, air defense equipment, and enemy headquarters at a distance of up to 10 kilometers,” Kasyanov says in the post.

He goes on to detail how a kamikaze variant of the Demon could strike up to 20 kilometers away, diving on its target with a 7-kilogram bomb — or up to 90 kilometers out with a 4-kilogram payload.

But the Ukrainians are not the only one with newly armed drones.

The Russian Defense Ministry is arming  intelligence- surveillance-reconnaissance drones, such as the Orion A and the Altair MALE.

Unlike Ukraine, they’ve had the opportunity to test drones, like the easily weaponizable Forpost, in other battlefields — like Syria.

This idea was taken up by the Russian weapon manufacturer Techmash plans to adapt its products for use on drones, Aleksandr Kochkin, Deputy CEO of Techmash said.

As part of its ordnance portfolio, Techmash produces aerial bombs at weight classes of 50 to 2.5 kilograms that are optimized for use with fixed-wing drones.

According to Kochkin, Techmash also evaluates the use of grenade launchers onboard unmanned platforms designed for vertical take-off and landing, such as the multirotor drones.

Established under the Rostec group in 2011, Techmash operates 36 munitions manufacturing organizations.

Bazalt, one of Techmash subsidiaries is manufacturing automatic grenade launchers and the 30mm anti-personnel grenades they fires.

The launcher fires a single shot, short, or long bursts, of 5 or 10 rounds.

The rounds are fitted with a point detonation fuze and pre-fragmented casing to ensure reliable operation on impact with any type of surface, including snow, sand, and water.

Bazalt also manufactures several types of rocket-propelled grenades that were already tested with multi-rotor drones.

Weaponization ideas using drone carried rocket grenade launchers appeared IED guidance literature distributed in 2017 by Daesh.

The Ukrainian Demon is a quadrotor platform fitted to carry a rocket grenade payload. Photo: Matrix via Defense Blog

Quadrotors carrying rocket-propelled grenades were already demonstrated two years ago in Russia, following the appearance of a drone hack introduction by Daesh (ISIS) in Syria.

Earlier this year similar platforms were displayed in Belarus and Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Demon developed by the Kyiv-based Matrix UAV company.

The first prototype of the Demon was fitted with an RPG-26 disposable rocket launcher.

It can also use an RPG-7 launcher or other small arms, at a weight up to five kilograms.

When used on a ‘suicide’ mission (without retrieving the platform after a fire) Demon carries up to seven kilograms of ordnance to a distance of 20 kilometers, or up to 90 kilometers when using a hybrid propulsion system.

The drone and weapon are controlled manually over a two-way video channel. Matrix is already developing a semi-automatic control for the system. When used over long distances the operator relies on another drone carrying a communications repeater.

A simple quadrotor designed to carry a single RPG-26 was demonstrated this year by the military in Belarus.


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