Russia will create a new tactical UAV on the basis of previously purchased from the Israeli company Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) UAV Searcher MkII, received in Russia the name «Outpost».
— Assembly of Israeli drones in Yekaterinburg. Photos 2013
According to the newspaper «Izvestia», the production of new scouts «Forpost-M» (modernized) will be engaged in the Ural civil aviation plant (JSC «UZGA»). The novelty should be transferred to the Ministry of defense of Russia in 2019.
The publication explains that «Forpost-M» will have Russian avionics: radio system, strapdown inertial navigation system (sins), as well as the Registrar information. The new system must allow the UAV to maintain communication with ground control, but also with other aircraft – planes, helicopters and satellites.
An expert in the field of unmanned aircraft technology, editor of the industry journal UAV.ru Denis Fedutinov told «Izvestia» that in the end of last year, Deputy defense Minister responsible for military-industrial complex Yuri Borisov said that in the next 5-10 years Ministry of defence must purchase an additional approximately 30 complexes with unmanned aerial vehicles. Apparently, it will be including versions of the UAV «Outpost.»
According to experts, the ongoing work has several purposes: «first, it is independence from the foreign supplier, taking into account existing risks due to the political situation. Secondly, obtaining a system more appropriate to the requirements of the Russian military – it is no secret that Russia supplied the system with reduced capabilities.»
In June 2016, the newspaper «Vedomosti» reported that Ural works of civil aviation has awarded a contract to 2 billion rubles (about $30 million) to create an upgraded version of the UAV «Outpost» in the interests of the Russian defense Ministry.
Then, in an interview with NEWSru.co.il D. Fedutinov said: «the Russian military would probably get the big range reconnaissance and surveillance UAV «Outpost», which would be adapted for military use, as well as to ensure the integration of complex information-control systems of the armed forces. In addition, the production of components of the airframe of the UAV in Russia would increase the efficiency of the repair work, which inevitably occurs during operation».
The UAV «Outpost» in June 2015 was presented at the held in Kubinka near Moscow the exhibition «Army 2015». Then it was reported that the planned modernization work in three stages. The first stage will be the creation of modification «Outpost.» The new version of the UAV will be equipped with a navigation system based on GLONASS. Also, the device will receive a new secure line of communication and IFF system. The updated UAV is somewhat heavier than the original – its takeoff weight will be about 500 kg. In the second stage of works is planned a version of «Forpost-R». It will differ by the presence of the instruments relay data from the UAV «Outpost» and «Orlan», and the radio station «Azart». Also on Board UAV equipment would be installed electronic intelligence (RTR) with a range of up to 250 km. in addition, this version will be equipped with the necessary equipment for interaction with the system of air traffic control (ATC). The third phase is the creation of a modernized and deeply localized version of the UAV. In particular, it is planned to supply new equipment UAV reconnaissance and surveillance, including digital aerial photography (casf as well as) and side-looking radar. The instrument payload is expected to be installed in the universal compartment inside the fuselage (to 35 kg), as well as in containers on an external sling (up to 14 kg). At this stage it is planned to use diagnostics and service of the Russian production.
In September 2015, it became known that the Russian defense Ministry has purchased another 10 complexes with UAVs «Outpost». The amount of the transaction in the year before, according to the newspaper «Vedomosti», was approximately $ 300 million.
At the end of 2013, the Ural civil aviation plant has completed a contract to build unmanned systems Searcher MkII and BirdEye 400 development of the Israeli company Israel Aerospace Industries commissioned by the Russian Ministry of defence.
The contract to build the unmanned systems was signed in 2010, the Russian Corporation Oboronprom and the Israeli company IAI. The cost was $ 400 million. As a production site was chosen uzga plant, partially owned by «Oboronprom». Previously, the company mainly engaged in repair of aviation engines.
«The drone deal» with Israel has caused ambiguous reaction in Russia. This decision was criticized by a number of Russian politicians and specialists in aeronautical engineering. Israel refused the deal to supply Russia with more modern, including attack UAVs. In 2012, after the change of leadership of the Ministry of defence of the Russian Federation, the Russian media wrote about the possible end of cooperation between Israel and Russia in the field of unmanned aerial technology. The new Minister of defence of Russia Sergey Shoigu then said that from now on priority will be given to the technique of Russian producers. But cooperation with the Israeli IAI concern was continued.
Military-technical cooperation with Russia and caused a lot of issues in Israel. This is due primarily to the fact that Moscow continues to supply arms to Iran and Syria. While Tehran has a special interest in UAV technologies, developing its own manufacture of the equipment. Iranian UAVs were repeatedly used by the Lebanese Hizbullah against Israel. During operation protective edge (summer 2014) simple UAV (including «drone kamikaze») was first used by the terrorist organization Hamas in the conditions of actual combat. In addition, there are persistent rumors about the trials of Russian UAV in combat in Syria (Moscow these rumors categorically denies). Against this background, Israel refuses proposals of Russia on joint production of modern and strike UAVs.
Note that the UAV «Outpost» was used by the Russian military in real combat conditions in Syria.
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