Flying sniper. What is the Israeli combat drone "Vampire"

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Flying sniper. What is the Israeli combat drone "Vampire"
Flying sniper. What is the Israeli combat drone "Vampire"
11 October, 11:30ArmyPhoto: Соцсети
A small and almost silent quadrocopter is designed for personal strikes, primarily against snipers.

Alexander Sychev

One of nearly two dozen weapons packages sent by Washington to Ukraine mentioned a Viper glide munition allegedly created specifically for the Kyiv military. The representative of the Pentagon then did not give any characteristics of this kamikaze drone, except that it looks like a Switchblade. Apparently, the general himself did not really know what he was talking about. But, as it now turns out, there are no similarities between Switchblade and Viper.

The Israeli company SpearUAV, created in 2017, demonstrated its new product called Viper for the first time at the US Army Association (AUSA) weapons exhibition in Washington. A company representative revealed the scope of this product: reconnaissance, target designation, and most importantly, the selective destruction of enemy manpower.

It turned out that Viper is a representative of a whole family of minidrones created by the company, and is a small quadrocopter for delivering personal strikes, primarily against snipers, grenade launchers, machine gunners, and mortar operators who are out of line of sight. These drones are supposed to be armed with soldiers of units, starting with the squad.

SpearUAV CEO Gadi Cooperman, introducing the Viper drone, said, in part: “We want to give the user the ability to handle the Viper in the same way as any other ammunition, such as a bullet or a grenade. It is a battlefield tool. It is designed to be used at any time and without hesitation."

When assembled, four rods with electric motors and propellers are stacked in the drone's body, which has the shape of a rectangular bar. He himself is placed in a small pencil case, which is equipped with two folding legs and an emphasis under the leg. Thus, the soldier fixes the launcher on the ground. When fired, the drone ejects from the canister and the rods with motors take up a working position at the corners of the device.

The trigger mechanism, based on a squib, is built into the case, which also acts as a wireless router between the ammunition and the operator. Control is carried out in real time on a tablet with the installed control program Ninox GCS (Ground Control System). It is compatible with Android, Microsoft Windows and Linux operating systems.

Management is intuitive. The drone is equipped with an optical and infrared camera. With them, he examines objects in the direction of flight, and artificial intelligence independently classifies the detected and accompanies the target. On the operator's screen, red squares indicate objects that the artificial intelligence considered threatening. The operator just needs to press the red button - the drone attacks the target and detonates the warhead.

The developed software allows the drone to autonomously move along the intended waypoints, guided by the signals of the global navigation satellite system and the inertial measuring unit. Communication with the operator is carried out through a two-way channel.

The maximum takeoff weight of the Vampire is 1.2 kilograms, which includes the ISTAR guidance unit, electric motors, lithium-ion battery, hull and warhead. The entire system, together with the launch capsule, weighs 2.2 kilograms.

The system can be either in a single version, or in the form of a knapsack, which fits four capsules.

Electric motors and rotating blades make little noise and do not attract attention. The battery charge is enough for 20 minutes of ammunition operation. Outside of five kilometers, communication with the operator is lost.

In addition to the Vampire, the arsenal offered to buyers by the Israelis includes:

Minidrone Ninox 40 MT , which can be controlled by one person. It can be launched from underbarrel and standard 40mm grenade launchers. There is also ammunition in the form of a disposable rocket launcher, in the back of which there is still the same red button.

It is enough to insert into the grenade launcher and pull the trigger. This drone weighs less than 250 grams. You can wear it in the pockets of a soldier's vest. Ninox 40 has a flight time of up to 35 minutes.

The Ninox VRS is a tactical unmanned system designed to be launched from fixed and mobile platforms such as armored infantry vehicles and armored personnel carriers. You can start while driving and even with a wind speed of about ten meters per second. The warhead weighs up to 500 grams and can be any: cumulative, fragmentation, armor-piercing.

The Ninox VRS system implements swarm and computer vision functions, automatic target tracking, homing algorithms and much more.

Ninox 103 differs from all previous models by the weight of the combat charge, which is equal to a kilogram. They are proposed to equip in large quantities large-sized land and sea platforms - tanks, ships.

And the modification with the letters UW (under water) is intended to be launched from submarines. The drone has been tested by the Israeli Navy, and has proven its ability to move from one environment to another and strike at surface and ground targets.

Already at the exhibition, the Italian defense corporation Leonardo DRS signed a partnership agreement with SpearUAV. His goal, said a representative of the Italian company, is to bring the Israeli invention to a level that will fully satisfy the needs of buyers.

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