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The United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) of Russia has taken a leap forward in aerial combat technology with a patent for an air-launched unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed for the Sukhoi Su-57 fighter jet. This marks a significant development in modern warfare strategies.

Unlike traditional drones launched from runways, this UAV deploys from the Su-57’s internal weapon bays, maintaining the fighter’s stealth profile. The drone boasts impressive performance with a turbojet engine propelling it to speeds of approximately 715 km/h (444 mph) and an operational ceiling of 8 kilometers (5 miles).

The UAV is a marvel of miniaturized technology. Its fuselage houses all the necessary components:

  • Head, middle, and tail sections for streamlined flight
  • A turbojet engine with a nozzle for efficient thrust and an air intake for smooth operation
  • Swept wings for enhanced maneuverability
  • Two-finned all-moving tail for precise control
  • Warhead located within the fuselage for offensive operations
  • Optical system for target acquisition
  • Navigation system sensors for precise positioning
  • An onboard intelligent search and guidance system powered by trained neural networks, enabling the drone to identify and engage targets with a high degree of autonomy.

The air-launched UAV significantly enhances the Su-57’s capabilities. It extends the fighter’s reach, allowing it to gather intelligence or neutralize threats without directly entering hostile airspace. This innovative technology positions the Su-57 as a true force multiplier on the modern battlefield.

While details about the UAV remain classified, this patent signifies Russia’s commitment to developing cutting-edge aerial warfare technology. The integration of this UAV with the Su-57 will undoubtedly influence future air combat tactics.