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State-of-the-art seaborne platform in the works to carry deck-based drones

Fixed-wing drones will be launched from a ship by a pneumatic catapult, a source revealed

MOSCOW, December 13. /TASS/. Russia is developing a cutting-edge platform for the Navy to serve as a flight deck for tactical and reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles, a source in the shipbuilding industry told TASS on Monday.

"Today, work is underway to design a multi-purpose platform for the Navy to carry a large number of tactical drones and unmanned aerial vehicles with reconnaissance capabilities," the source said.

The seaborne platform is intended to carry medium- and light-weight rotary- and fixed-wing drones. The latter drones will be launched from a ship by a pneumatic catapult, he specified. "The shipborne platform for unmanned and autonomous systems will enable their tactical use along coastal terrain and in open sea areas," the source added.

It will be necessary to comply with a number of requirements for deck-based drones, he pointed out. "This refers to protecting onboard electronics from the aggressive maritime environment, ensuring the increased accuracy of instruments for deck landing and providing for the drones’ enhanced frame in case of their crash-landing onto the deck," he specified.

TASS has no official confirmation of this information yet.

The Russian Navy currently operates Orlan-10 drones developed by the Special Technological Center for naval aviation in 2010. The drone’s performance characteristics make it possible to employ it both on land and on ships. Russian naval aviation airfields also employ Forpost drones that are capable of tracking uncovered naval and coastal targets and simultaneously issuing target acquisition data. The drone was successfully used jointly with shipborne Kalibr and Oniks missile systems.