After China, Russia is developing an advanced air traffic control drone

On the occasion of the 2018 Zhuhai Motor Show, the Chinese aviation industry presented for the first time the JY-300 drone, a MALE drone whose main mission was forward air traffic control, a function traditionally devoted to heavy and very expensive devices, such as the S3 Sentry or the E-2C Hawkeye in Europe, and which is commonly referred to as AWACS. Obviously, Russian engineers were inspired by this approach, since aux words from Nikolai Dolzhenkov, chief engineer of the Kronshtadt company which notably designs Orion drones, the company would develop a forward air control drone intended to replace the Beriev A-50s currently in service with the Russian air force in this mission.

In an interview given to the Russian channel Zvezda, the engineer specifies that the large-scale drone, perhaps based on the HALE Sirius drone in development at the manufacturer (main illustration photo), will be able to monitor spaces aircraft, including to detect aircraft operating at very low altitude, and this autonomously, while supplying information to the Russian anti-aircraft control and defense systems to pilot interceptions. Indeed, in the same interview, Nikolai Dolzhenkov specifies that the whole Russian drones currently in development, including the S70 Okhotnik B and the GROM, share a unique control and piloting system, allowing them to be interconnected with Russian systems natively, while offering a high degree of autonomy and decision-making, with limited human control. to "major decisions", so as to simplify deployment and use.

Orion drone Defense news | Awacs and electronic warfare | Combat drones
The Orion is the first MALE drone developed by Russian industry, and entered service in 2020 after making its maiden flight in 2016.

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