Air Combat Evolution (ACE), a new Ukrainian company has released a promotional video of its conceptual drone called ACE-1, in which it is shown shooting what appears to be the Russian Orion drone and T90 tank.
ACE-1 is claimed to deliver a combination of high-speed and low visibility, along with Artificial Intelligence (AI), swarming solution and the capability to deliver a mix of missiles and guided bombs from its two internal weapon bays. It can also function as a loyal wingman- fly alongside a crewed fighter aircraft in combat.
A mock-up of the drone was released at the ‘Arms and Security 2021’ Exhibition which began today in Kiev, Ukraine.
The ACE-1 will be capable of carrying weapons weighing up to 1 ton in internal compartments. It will be powered by two engines, the AI-322F turbojet made buy Motor Sich and Ivchenko-Progress. It will have a thrust of 2,500 Kgf and a dry weight of 560 kgs.
The drone will have a length 8 meters, width of 11 meters and a maximum takeoff weight 7.5 tons. It will develop a maximum speed of Mach 0.95.
According to the calculations of Ukrainian designers, the strike UAV will have a combat radius of 1500 km and a service ceiling of 13.5 km.
The drone will compete with the likes of the Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel and the Russian S-70 “Hunter”.
The preliminary cost of one complete system comprising several aircraft (probably three) and a ground control station is $ 12-13 million, a press release during the Arms and Security-2021 exhibition said.
The ACE-1 looks to not only out-fly and out-gun the best drones in the world, but also undercut them on price by a fair margin.