Privately held Ukrainian Firm, PrAT Ramzay JSC has developed an armed helicopter drone together with laser homing missiles which will be unveiled at the Arms & Security International Expo later this month in Kyiv.
The project to build a rotor drone has been under development during the past few years, and the first prototype is expected to make its maiden flight this year. Trials for another development project – a helicopter fire/weapon control kit encompassing an optical targeting system which adds R-73 IR homing air-to-air missile capability to the air-to-ground weapons package that strike helicopters commonly use, as per a Defense Express report.
The unmanned combat helicopter has been designed with a payload capacity of 200 kg, inclusive of half of that load for precision-guided missiles, Yuri Polyovyy, PrAT Ramzay CEO, told Security Talks in an interview hosted by Valentyn Badrak.
Missile guidance will be done assisted by the advanced weapon/fire control kit PrK-R-21, which is a compact-size version of the PrK-R-11 system, itself a follow-on evolution to the renowned 524R missile fire control kit used on attack helicopters.
“This kit comprises Ramzay’s proprietary autopilot system, weapons control system, a high-tech, stabilized weapon platform fitted with three TV camera sensors, laser sensor, laser range finder, and thermal imaging sensor to facilitate the aiming and guidance of precision-guided munitions,” Polyovyy said.
524R, in its baseline configuration, has day/night capabilities for guidance and control of two RK-2V/Barrier-V ATGM missiles that can reach targets out to 7,500 m and are guided by a semi-automatic laser homing seeker, with the laser beam focused on the tail of the missile, Defense Express reported.
PrK-21 can also support a conventional laser homing technique where the missile follows the trajectory of target-reflected laser beam, making it compatible for use with laser-guided projectiles of NATO armies.
Laser target illumination technique is used for guidance and control of Roketsan MAM-c MAM-L munitions fielded on Turkey’s Bayraktar TB2 UCAVs and of guided versions of U.S.-developed, 70-mm HAP Hydra 70 missiles with semi-active laser seekers.
A similar technique is employed for control and guidance of “heavier”, helicopter-launched ATGMs like Turkey’s UMTAS or U.S. AGM-114 Hellfire.