Russia’s Armata tank will be hooked up to a drone which will fly above the tank to ensure a 360 degree view from a high vantage point.
The drone, called Pterodactyl, designed by the Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI) will be able to stay in the air for a very long time as it will receive power via a flexible cable directly from the tank. The cable link means the drone will have limited manoeuvrability.
The UAVs is made of composite materials to ensure its durability and lightness. The cable-powered drone will be able to fly around the tank in a radius of 50-100 meters. It will also be able to ascend in the air for tens of meters. The portable radar and thermal night vision device will serve as the eyes of the drone, Pravada reported Wednesday.
The cable system for the UAV has passed tests at a laboratory and fully confirmed specified characteristics. The new UAV is designed as a tiltrotor - the aircraft, the propellers of which rotate together with wings, thus combining the functions of both an airplane and a helicopter in one machine. The peculiarity enables the drone to develop high speeds in the air to catch up with the tank moving at full speed. The drone will be able to take off from the hull of the tank.
The technology was designed for the German prototype of unmanned helicopter Dornier Do-32K in the 1960s. The helicopter used the cable system to receive both fuel and commands on it. The cable power system is currently used at Israel's Hovermast copter, although it does not work in tandem with a combat vehicle.
Armata tanks outfitted with drones will be able to scan up to ten kilometers of surrounding terrain. The peculiarity will give Armata an indisputable superiority over other existing models of armored vehicles that have no such drones.