Dec 4, 2013

Russia to Test UAE-Made Drone Next Year

Russia’s armed forces will conduct test flights of a drone aircraft from the United Arab Emirates early next year, the manufacturer said.
The unmanned United 40 Block 5 long-range reconnaissance vehicle will be tested to assess whether it meets the military’s operational needs. The medium-altitude drone can stay airborne for more than 100 hours and can also be equipped with Namrod air-to-surface guided missiles.
The first drone would be delivered to Russia in February. A preliminary agreement had been reached to sell more test vehicles to the armed forces, depending on the results of the first flights.
The United 40 Block 5 is 11 meters (36.5 feet) long and has two sets of wings with a span of 17.53 meters (53ft). It can fly to a height of 8,000 meters (26,000ft) and has a cruising speed of 120-200 kilometers per hour.
The drone can carry a payload of up to 100 kilograms (220 pounds) under each of its four wings.
Russia’s military began to seek out advanced reconnaissance systems following the brief conflict with neighboring Georgia in August 2008, when the effectiveness of ground operations was severely hampered by a lack of reliable intelligence.
Various experts have estimated that Russia’s armed forces need up to 100 unmanned drone aircraft and at least 10 guidance and control systems to ensure effective battlefield reconnaissance.

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