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Take off & land anywhere: Russia unveils hybrid amphibious drone vehicle (PHOTOS)

Published time: July 12, 2014 14:00
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A drone hybridized with an amphibious hovercraft has been presented at the Innoprom-2014 technology exhibition in Russia's Yekaterinburg. This unique UAV doesn’t need an airfield to launch, so the only alternative is a helicopter.

Russia’s Rostech state corporation presented the first-ever drone that can land on any terrain, whether hummocky land, loose snow, sand, water, or swampland - any relatively flat surface will do.

The aircraft dubbed Chirok (Teal) is both an unmanned aerial and amphibious vehicle; it was developed by Rotech’s branch, Integrated Instrument-making Corporation (IIC).

“There is only one alternative to this aircraft [Chirok] – a helicopter,” Aleksey Smirnov, the head of the unmanned aerial vehicles department at Radio-Technical Institute, told the OTV channel.

The 1:5 Chirok prototype presented at the exhibition has been specifically made to test its aero performance in a wind tunnel.

In 2015, the full-scale Chirok aircraft will start flight tests. It will have a wingspan of 10 meters and have a maximum takeoff mass of approximately 700 kilograms, of which 300kg would be its effective payload.

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With 6,000 meters of altitude ceiling, the UAV is expected to travel up to 2,500 kilometers on a single fuelling. Information about the Chirok’s propulsion is classified.

The ‘aircraft-hovercraft’ is made exclusively of composite materials, while the fabric of its air cushion was developed in Russia and is patented by the Rostech Corporation. The air cushion is fully retractable in flight mode.

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Though the drone will most likely be used for reconnaissance and wild fire monitoring missions, delivery of necessities to distant oil rigs etc., its construction also enables carrying assault military appliances.

The Chirok could be equipped with high precision weapons, such as small-size guided missiles. Unlike most existing UAVs, the Chirok has enough inner space to fit the weapons internally, so that under-wing missiles won’t interfere with aerodynamics and landing. Because the aircraft is of moderate size and made of composites, it also has excellent stealth characteristics.

It is expected that at Moscow-hosted MAKS-2015 air show UAV Chirok will be presented as an operable prototype. Production of the aircraft could be started as early as 2016.

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Comments (54)


Krisha Sharma 24.08.2014 17:17

The U.S. public talks a lot about its technology and advancement. They are only good buisiness men. When you get inside the technical resources, you find so many from Russia, China, India and east european bloc whom they have lured with money. The native American is nowhere to be found. The strategy is to disturb the peaceful existence of other countries and poach their intelligentia for money. They have also translated numerous books of Russian R&D obtained cheaply from central Asian countries during & after the covert Afghan war with Russia about which they never speak.


Jackson Democrats 18.07.2014 13:45

Troy Hillis 13.07.2014 11:54

Troy Hillis


H ey, Bill O'Reilly - Is that you? So many Fox-isms I thought it might be.
Russia is not "communist" ;. That was the USSR. Russia is now an Oligarchy, run by rich guys and transnational corporations... like DuPont, which is where the United States appears to be headed.
Treason is what Republicans do to get elected like when Nixon told Viet Nam to hold out for a better deal after his election or when Reagan told Iran to hold the hostages until after his election in trade for weapons and parts.


Marcus UAV 15.07.2014 17:28

What happens when water gets into the motor?

View all comments (54)
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