Russia has unveiled its biggest ever drone yet- the 30 meter (98.42 feet) wingspan -surveillance drone named Sirus that puts in the league of the US-made MQ-9A Global Hawk.
Developed by the Kronstadt Group, the drone was named “Sirus” ahead of the MAKS 2019 show where a full-size mock-up was displayed at the event venue at Zhukovsky near Moscow last week.
The drone has length of 13 meters with a maximum takeoff weight of 5 tons and maximum payload of 1 ton. Its cruising speed will be 295 kmph and endurance of 40 hours with full payload.
Its service ceiling is 12000 meters (60,000 ft) making it a true long range high altitude drone. Its mission profile is aerial patrolling over large swathes of sea, aerial inspection of immense territory, long haul emergency and even express delivery of cargo, information released by Kronstadt said.
It will be powered by turbojet engine most likely derived from current Russian high performance engines. The engine for the Sirus has not yet been specified.
The first prototype is expected to be ready by 2023, Nikolai Dolzhenkov, the general designer of Kronstadt Group was quoted as saying in Russian media who also said his company was looking for a strategic investor in the project but would go it alone if it failed to find one.
To put the drone’s size in perspective, the Boeing 737-800 has a wingspan of 35.8 meters (117.5 feet) while the larger Global Hawk’s wingspan is 39.63 meters (130 feet).
The payload options for the drone could include infrared thermal and electro-optical. The drone will be connected to ground control by a secure data link and will have self-destruct capability should its controls be seized by the enemy.