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Russia is developing high-tech supersonic drones that can carry weapons

March 02, 2018
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Russia’s deputy head of research at the Institute of the Defense Ministry said over the weekend that the Defense Ministry is currently developing a long-range drone capable of automatic flying at low altitudes at supersonic speed. Speaking on Zvezda, the official TV channel of the ministry, Alexander Nemov confirmed that the large unmanned aircraft would appear sometime in the next few years.

“Development work is currently underway on a long-range unmanned system capable of carrying out unmanned low-altitude supersonic flights, and striking both stationary and mobile targets at operational-strategic depth,” he stated.

Officials on Zvezda also explained that this new military technology would usher in fundamentally new strategic capabilities not currently seen by any other military in the world. When asked about the new aircraft’s onboard weapons, Nemov outlined that the system “will have the ability to carry both guided and unguided air-launched weapons.”

In addition to the new aircraft, other projects currently in development include a new strike chopper that combines certain capabilities of helicopters from the 1990s and current Mil Mi-28 “Havoc” attack helicopters. The new chopper will feature an additional wing and be capable of flying 250 miles per hour. The Central Scientific Research Institute also has plans to develop unmanned helicopter systems.

The head of the onboard electronic equipment department at the institute, Pavel Shchavelev, claimed that “the helicopter of the future will have two options: the classical one with the pilot and crew and unmanned one, which will interact with the manned craft operating in the interests of the ground forces.”

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In November, it was reported that production would start on heavy unmanned aerial vehicles capable of transporting several tons of cargo and operating for several days continuously. The system is rumored to be introduced this summer. Those aircraft are also capable of aerial photography, cartography, telecommunications, monitoring viral diseases, protection of propert, and more.

Russian military advancements continue to be a concern for the U.S. in particular.

During the Nuclear Posture Review conducted by the U.S. Defense Department, the Pentagon detailed previously unknown new Russian military capabilities. In particular, the review discussed Russia’s next-gen nuclear armed torpedoes that can travel thousands of miles before striking a target like a major U.S. coastal city. The review also broke down how Russia continues to stockpile thousands of “non-strategic” nuclear weapons, including short-range ballistic missiles, gravity bombs and depth charges that can go on medium-range bomber aircraft.

On the topic of the previously unknown military advancements, the director of the Defense Posture Project said that “the concept is a horror of the Cold War. It is clearly inspired by overblown Russian worries that U.S. missile defenses will make their missile forces obsolete.”

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