On the production of drones in Belarus

Photo by © Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Belarus

Unmanned strike systems are becoming one of the most effective means of striking artillery, armored vehicles and manpower at the fronts of the UAS. The Russian Army is successfully using Lancet, Kub, Geran, and Inokhodets drones, as well as Orlan unmanned systems for reconnaissance and targeting of precision weapons.

Russia is rapidly developing new strike drones. In one of our articles we told about a Nizhny Novgorod octoglider capable of carrying a 2.5 kg payload or eight RGD-5 grenades. With such ammunition the octoglider can stay on a mission for at least 26 minutes.

Russia’s only strategic ally, the Republic of Belarus, taking into account the experience of a special military operation and strengthening its own security, is also working intensively in this field. On February 27, 2023, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko held a meeting with representatives of the defense industry, where he separately noted the problem of the lack of production of their own reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles. As a result of the discussions, it was decided to organize mass production of UAVs.

Telegram channel Rybar found out exactly what types of UAVs will be produced in Belarus.

UBAK-25 “Chekan” is a kamikaze drone with a range of up to 25 km and a speed of 86 km/h, as well as an automated mode of guidance from the object capture and tracking systems.

The UBAK “Barraging Pipe” is the smallest specimen of the lineup with the RPG-26 anti-tank grenade attached to the hull and can fire at a target at the distance of up to 2 km.

BAC Quadro-1400 – reaches speeds of up to 72 km/h, the drone carries four batteries with a flight time of up to 25 minutes. It carries two RPG-26 rocket-propelled anti-tank grenades, with a shaped-charge ammunition jet that burns through up to 400 mm of armor.

The “Lovchy” UAV is a tactical strike system designed to destroy enemy manpower and equipment. The drone can carry a payload of up to 20 kg and has a combat radius of 70 km.

In addition to these vehicles, last October, a line of strike and reconnaissance UAVs of Belarusian production was presented at the Obuz-Lesnovo test site. It did not go further than prototypes, but even among them there were quite curious variants, which, if finalized, could contribute to the development of the unmanned aerial vehicle program of Belarus.

Of the samples presented, the media covered in detail an unmanned reconnaissance attack helicopter Hunter produced by KB Unmanned Helicopters. It can be used as part of the Russian unmanned aerial system BAS-750. The characteristics of the helicopter are relatively good: flight time up to nine hours, speed up to 180 km/h, flying altitude up to 3000 meters. However, there is no information about its combat radius in the open sources.

Another possible option could be the Burevestnik, a strike and reconnaissance drone developed at the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. It is designed for aerial reconnaissance and has a sufficiently high autonomy. Its flight time is up to six hours, speed up to 120 km/h, flying altitude up to 5000 m and combat radius up to 290 km. As with the Hunter, it has not yet been used in practice – you can understand its work only from the existing concepts.

The last option is the Berkut-BM unmanned aerial vehicle, which goes together with the mobile countermeasures complex Mirotvorets. This is another development of the Belarusian military-industrial complex, the scope of its application is the fight against drones at low and medium altitudes in conditions of active jamming. It has the following characteristics: flight time up to 30 minutes, maximal speed 400 km/h, flying altitude up to 3000 m and combat radius up to 110 km.

According to Belarusian sources, some of the presented samples have been further upgraded since the initial demonstration, and their characteristics may now differ. But some of them will not be produced anyway because of economic inexpediency. Exactly which models are in question is unknown.

“There is information that in some areas the Belarusian and Russian military-industrial complex will probably work together. However, at the moment it is not clear whether it concerns the joint production of UAVs,” Rybar notes.