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Current Russian UAVs were designed during the Soviet era

Drones and UAVs are a key part of the U.S. Military's reconnaissance gathering capabilities. Drones used for recon are small aircraft that are hard to see on radar and capable of loitering around a target for hours on end without risking the lives of U.S. soldiers in the process. The U.S. military also plans to use drones to help resupply troops in remote locations.

While the U.S. has very advanced UAV's in its arsenal, Russia is laboring with UAV technology that is years behind the United States. Defense Technology International (DTI) reports that most of the Russian UAVs in service were designed in the Soviet era and are obsolete.

The UAVs in the Russian military are so obsolete that they are rarely used. Last summer, Russians used an old Tu-22 bomber to perform a recon mission, and the bomber was subsequently shot down while on the mission. DTI reported that using the ancient Tu-22 bomber for a manned recon mission was the equivalent to the 21st century version of a cavalry charge.

The Russian military are testing several more modern UAVs for integration into its arsenal. Among the designs being considered are the Tipchak from the Luch design bureau of Rybinsk. The aircraft is a 110-pound BLA-05 drone that is catapult launched and powered by a 12 HP piston engine. The 2.4-meter long aircraft has a 3.4-meter wingspan and carries TV/infrared cameras for up to 43 miles and has a three-hour flight time -- top speed is pegged at 124 MPH.

The Transas company is also demonstrating its UAV to the Russian military called the Dozor-4. Dozor-4 has a ceiling of 3,000 meters and has a 12.5kg payload that includes a digital camera and thermal imager. The aircraft is capable of beaming imagery in real-time for up to 100km from its base station. Images taken are automatically plotted onto a digital map using TopoAxis software from the company after returning from its mission.

The Dozer-4 was reportedly used in a search-and-rescue mission during its demonstration to assist in finding a competitors downed UAV. Dozor-4 flew at 1500 meters altitude for over 75 KM searching for the downed UAV. The Dozor-4 was ultimately recommended for Russia's UAV platform.

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RE: Russia's a little behind.
By maven81 on 3/24/2009 12:41:54 PM , Rating: 2
i find it quite humorous how quickly people seem to belittle the f22's abilities as "inferior" to other fighters. it is this mentality which has convinced our politicians--that DESPITE what our top brass keeps saying--we don't need more f22's.

Or maybe they just realized that sometimes an expensive high tech solution is not required when a lower tech solution works fine. (you'd think the space shuttle would have taught people this lesson, but I guess not). Remember the F-117? Invisible to everything, could not be shut down, until it got shut down? Everything looks amazing on paper, but in the real world you have to be more pragmatic. And at over 300 million per plane (last I checked) it had better be 5 times more amazing then anything else.

By inperfectdarkness on 3/24/2009 7:28:44 PM , Rating: 2
don't get me started on the f-117 shootdown. we basically HELPED them blow us out of the sky.

regardless, the f117 was a necessary 1st step in stealth technology. considering they were only RECENTLY retired--they served admirably from 1981 for over 25 years; a lifetime compared to our korea/vietnam era planes.

the stealth technology on the f22 is obscenely more advanced than the f117, and even shames the technology on the b2. additionally...we didn't have to compromise f22 design to maximize its radar-dodging abilities--something that was an intrinsic part of f117 design.

you make a horrid assumption that price/performance in weapons systems is a LINEAR relationship. nothing could be further from the truth. the modern ideal behind our military is to "build it significantly better than anything else in existence". we do this because we anticipate (correctly) that we'll be forced to keep these systems in service for a considerable duration. we end up paying MORE...NOW...because we're looking to have these platforms still be relevant & competent 30 years from now.

if the f22 could carry more missiles'd probably be 15 times better than anything else.

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