RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, February 10 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian military has postponed tests of a high-endurance drone until an unspecified future date, a spokesperson for the United Arab Emirates company that makes the vehicle said Monday.
“All existing agreements will remain in force, but the Russian side has requested a delay in testing from February until a later date,” Tatyana Kirova of Adcom Systems said.
CEO Ali Al Dhaheri said in December that the first test drone would be delivered for evaluation this month, to be followed by a purchase agreement if test flights were successful.
The aircraft was debuted internationally at the MAKS air show outside Moscow last summer two months after Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that the country’s drone projects were inferior to foreign offerings.
The Adcom Systems United 40 Block 5 is a long-range medium-altitude reconnaissance vehicle that can loiter above a single area for over four days, according to the company’s website.The drone, powered by twin turboprops, features steerable cameras and radar for reconnaissance missions and is capable of carrying almost a half-ton of weapons mounted on hard points under the craft’s wings.
The United 40 would not be the first foreign drone purchase for the country. In 2009 Russia bought 12 drones from Israel Aerospace Industries in a deal worth $53 million that attracted criticism for neglecting the domestic aerospace industry.
From August 26, 2013:
Russia Developing Unmanned Next-Generation Fighter – General
MOSCOW, August 26 (RIA Novosti) – Russian designers are proceeding with development of an unmanned “sixth-generation” fighter jet, former Air Force chief Pyotr Deinekin said Monday.
“The sixth generation of aircraft will most likely be pilotless. Naturally, we are actively working on this,” Deinekin said in an interview with RIA Novosti.
Russia will probably not be able to skip a generation and will need to complete all of its fifth-generation projects, he added.
Russia is currently testing its prototype fifth-generation Sukhoi T-50 fighter, a manned aircraft that made its first public appearance two years ago. The US is introducing its F-35, and European powers such as the UK and France have their Typhoon and Rafale fighters in service. All those nations have carried out research into pilotless designs, analysts say.
Deinekin did not specify which design bureaus were working on pilotless sixth-generation designs, but Russian military aircraft maker MiG said in May it was ready to go ahead with a research and development project for an unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) based on its Skat prototype, after signing a deal with the Trade and Industry Ministry earlier that month.
Mikhail Pogosyan, president of United Aircraft Corporation, the holding that unites the Russian aerospace industry, said last November that Sukhoi would focus on creating reconnaissance and strike unmanned air vehicles (UAV) in the near future.
Aviation news weekly Flight International reported in 2011 that Sukhoi and MiG would work together on advanced UCAV programs.