The Armed Forces of Ukraine have switched to the regular destruction of Russian very valuable Forpost drones, which belong to the class of tactical drones capable of staying in the air for about 18 hours at a distance of up to 250 km, and not only to conduct reconnaissance, but also to highlight targets with a laser for precision-guided munitions .
But Forpost owes such opportunities not to “Russian design ideas”, but to Israel, which in 2010 sold a license to assemble its Searcher II drone from Israel Aerospace Industries.play video
Outpost from Israel
Thanks to the signed agreement, which, according to public information, cost relatively little – $ 300 million, the Russian Federation received the right to assemble a copy of the Searcher II from Israeli components. This amount is relatively weakly correlated with the known cost of Searcher II – $ 7 million for one complex.
In any case, at first, the Kazan Helicopter Plant was engaged in the SKD assembly of these drones, and since 2012, the Ural Civil Aviation Plant in Yekaterinburg.
As of 2014, it was known about the production of six complexes, in 2017 – 30, three drones each. And in 2019, the Russians, as they say, carried out a complete import substitution.
But an analysis of the wreckage of the Forposts, which began to actively shoot down, in particular in the Odessa region , will be able to explain in detail how many Russian components it contains, and how many foreign ones. For specific questions have already been formed for suppliers of components for another sieve drone – Orlan-10 . Which, of course, was also “completely replaced by imports” in the Russian Federation.
In any case, it is Israel Aerospace Industries that rashists owe to the presence of UAVs of this class in their ranks. Thanks to the optical station, which is equipped with powerful television and thermal imaging channels, this drone can distinguish tank-type targets at a distance of about 8 km. This means that the detection range of armored vehicles is 1.5-2 times greater.
Even more dangerous, this drone can illuminate targets with a laser beam in order to aim high-precision missiles or projectiles. In particular, it is he who can highlight targets for the Russian 152-mm Krasnopol projectile.
Since Forpost remained the only proven solution with proven effectiveness, work began in the Russian Federation to improve its performance.
In 2019, an updated version was demonstrated in the Russian Federation – Forpost-R, which received an update of the communication channel, which expanded the range to 350 km. It was also announced the development of hanging containers with additional systems. In particular, a radar for detecting targets on the ground, a complex of electronic intelligence, as well as a signal relay.
Also, with a certain pride, it was announced that now the engine of the Forpost-R is the Russian APD-85, with a power of 85 hp, which is more powerful than the German 50-horsepower Limbach L550, which was installed earlier. But at the same time, somehow already without emphasis, it was about increasing the weight of the drone from 450 to 500 kg.
Of course, they try not to mention one more detail of “import substitution” in the Russian Federation. The replacement of the engine led to a decrease in the maximum flight altitude. If the original Searcher II has 7 km, then the upgraded by rashists has 5-6 km.
And we are talking about the maximum achievable height, at a time when the usual operational one is lower. And this already makes Forpost-R quite achievable for all army means of destroying air targets, including MANPADS. Especially with laser trail guidance, such as the British StarStreak and Martlet .
Also, developments were underway to install guided weapons – miniature bombs KAB-20, frank tracing paper from MAM-L for Bayraktar TB2. But in practice, their use by Forpost-R will further reduce flight performance.
Characteristics of “Forpost” (Forpost-R)
- Length : 6 m
- Wingspan : 9.1 m
- Cruise speed : 150 km/h
- Maximum flight speed : 200 km/h
- Control range : 250 km (350 km)
- Maximum flight altitude : 7 km (5-6 km)
- Power plant power : 50 hp (85 HP)
- (C)UNIAN 2022