Russian media reported, the new Russian heavy attack drone “Altius” had its first test of the weapon at the end of June 2021
The Sokol Altius is a medium-altitude long-endurance Russian unmanned combat aerial vehicle developed by OKB Sokol and Tranzas to perform reconnaissance, strike and electronic attack missions on behalf of the Russian Air Force and Navy. The program started in 2011 and thus far 3 prototypes have been built. The Altius is comparable to the striking and reconnaissance capabilities of the US-made RQ-9 Reaper and RQ-4 Global Hawk UAVs.
According to sources, this combat vehicle can use a multi-purpose weapon system similar to that used on the Kronshtadt Orion combat UAV, including small bombs, un-guided and guided bombs, as well as guided missiles. Expected during the summer test program, Altius will perform typical offensive missions, such as destroying tanks, light armored vehicles, simulated enemy positions and artillery bases.
It is known that the Russian Ministry of Defense has signed a contract with an undisclosed amount and value. Deliveries are expected to begin this year. Russia’s “Altius” UAV has a unique design, unlike similar UAV models in the world. The weight of the UAV is 3 tons, the maximum take-off weight is 5 tons. Its wingspan is 28.5 m, length is 11.6 m. It can cruise at a speed of about 250 km/h, an operating range of about 10,000 km. Maximum endurance is 48 hours, and service ceiling is 12,000 m.
In autonomous mode, the UCAV will be controlled by artificial intelligence. That is, the UCAV will perform pre-programmed tasks on its own, without the assistance of ground operations personnel. The “Altius” is equipped with a satellite communication system that allows it to be controlled on a global scale.
In terms of combat capabilities, “Altius” will be equivalent to the US model MQ-9 Reaper, but more superior. The drone can carry 2 tons of reconnaissance and attack equipment. And it seems that it will soon become the backbone of the Russian military UCAV. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, in the payroll of the Russian army, there are currently 70 units responsible for the exploitation and use of UAVs, possessing hundreds of different UAV combinations, including at least 2,000 flying vehicles.