A drone which takes off and lands on an air-cushion, similar to the technology employed on hovercrafts has been developed by Russia’s United Instrument-Making Corporation (UIMC) called Chirok.
The drone was unveiled at the Innoprom international technology exhibition in Yekaterinburg yesterday.
A UIMC release said "the innovative technology, air-cushion landing system, allows the drone to take off without an air strip. This technology is absolutely unique. The drone is able to take off from soft soil, water, marshy terrain and loose snow. It can also land on these surfaces, whereas other aircraft can neither take off from nor land on them”.
Chirok can be used as an observation platform, to monitor forest fires, disaster areas and road and traffic conditions, as well as for patrol. As for military utility, Chirok is intended for reconnaissance and can also be used as an offensive operations drone, capable of carrying weapons.
Chirok’s maximum takeoff weight is up to 700 kilograms, the payload weight limit is up to 300 kilograms. The UAV can carry opto-electronic devices for various types of monitoring, and the transport of bombs, rockets and high-precision missiles. The drone can rise to a height of 6,000 meters, with a range of up to 2,500 kilometers. Currently, specialists at the military-industrial complex are working on further improving Chirok’s technical capabilities.