Armor is not a problem: the British armed the heavyweight drone with missiles

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Armor is not a problem: the British armed the heavyweight drone with missiles
Armor is not a problem: the British armed the heavyweight drone with missiles
10 October, 15:16TechnologyPhoto: Соцсети
British companies Malloy Aeronautics and BAE Systems managed to make friends with the T-650 unmanned aerial vehicle with Brimstone (“Sulfur”) air-to-ground homing missiles.

Alexander Sychev

The T-650 unmanned aerial vehicle appeared a year ago and immediately attracted attention with its 300 kilograms payload, which is provided by eight electric motors. Many civilian companies have expressed interest, believing that the new vehicle offers unique opportunities for transporting goods, especially in areas remote from residential areas. Moreover, the device is able to fly both autonomously and with remote control.

But very soon the military became interested in the T-650, and some of the performance characteristics of the UAV were removed from the Malloy Aeronautics website. Only the basics remain. The aerodynamic body is made of carbon fiber, and the large propellers housed on raised brackets can be removed for transport and storage. The drone can reach speeds of 140 kilometers per hour. Without a load, the drone flies up to 80 kilometers, and the flight radius with a load reaches 30 kilometers. And other details were removed from all sources.

The military decided to use the drone as a means of supporting military operations from the air. At first, they planned to equip it with a Stingray torpedo ("Skat") and send it to fight enemy submarines and surface ships. But the torpedo is not going well yet, but it was possible to stick Brimstone missiles to the UAV. Three rockets are placed on the developed suspension, the total mass of which reaches approximately 150 kilograms.

The use of half the carrying capacity of the drone suggests that they tried not to limit the range of its combat action to thirty kilometers. The combat T-650, quite obviously, flies further.

Brimstone missiles were developed by the MBDA international consortium for the British Air Force and entered service in 2005. It is equipped with an active millimeter-wave radar and a number of sensors that allow it to hit moving targets with great accuracy. It is possible to program a missile to hit targets with a specific radar signature, such as tanks or boats, and not respond to others. Target data is loaded before launch. In addition to the semi-autonomous ability to determine its own targets, Brimstone can choose the trajectory of its strike to increase the degree of destruction.

The warhead weighing more than six kilograms is arranged according to the tandem principle, which provides more effective penetration of modern types of armor. The lighter initial charge, about 100 grams, passes through the active part of the protection of the armored target, and the rest of the charge destroys the main armor.

After leaving the launcher, the engine accelerates the rocket to supersonic speed. It has a short burning time, which reduces the visibility of the missile in the infrared spectrum.

What were the main design difficulties, not reported. Most likely, they were mainly associated not with the control of missiles, but with the loss of stability of the drone in the air at the time of the release of ammunition. The launch of Brimstone missiles in versions I and II from helicopters has been worked out. The difference between the T-650 and the helicopter, first of all, is in the mass - the missile launch does not have a strong effect on the helicopter. Apparently, I had to work on the drone's stabilization system.

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