Our Bureau
02:33 PM, June 3, 2013

Russian military maker MiG announced the start of the research-and-development project for an unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) based on its Skat prototype.

This announcement is made under a contract MiG signed with the Russian Industry and Trade Ministry earlier this month.

"We signed an R&D contract for UCAVs on May 15," said MiG's head, Sergei Korotkov. "The contract requirements include a mock-up for a future UCAV for the Defense Ministry. We are already ahead on this, based on our Skat program".

MiG unveiled a demonstrator model of its Skat drone at the MAKS airshow in 2007, which is designed to carry out strike missions on stationary targets, especially air defense systems in high-threat areas, as well as mobile land and sea targets.

Skat will operate in autonomous modes as well as in conjunction with other manned systems, MiG says.

A 'flying wing' design, Skat has a projected weight of 10 tons, a two-ton payload, a range of 2,500 miles (4,000 km), a speed of 500 mph (800 km/h) and a ceiling of 36,000 feet (12,000 m). MiG also plans to sign a contract in June with the Defense Ministry for 37 MiG-35 multirole fighter jets, Korotkov said, with delivery of 24 of them to take place in "the near future.

The new fighters will include the Zhuk-A radar system, he said further.