MOSCOW, August 4 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Kronshtadt defense company has developed a new- generation heavy unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for military purposes, a senior company official said on Tuesday.
"The Kronshtadt engineers have developed a heavy Dozor-3 UAV with a lift-off weight of 600 kg and a payload of 100 kg, which could be used as a strike aircraft," said Viktor Godunov, member of the company's board of directors.
"It can carry various types of reconnaissance equipment and weaponry," he added.
The Russian military stressed the need to provide its Armed Forces with advanced means of battlefield reconnaissance in the wake of a brief military conflict with Georgia last August, when the effectiveness of Russian military operations was severely hampered by the lack of reliable intelligence.
According to various estimates, the Russian military needs up to 100 UAVs and at least 10 guidance systems to ensure effective battlefield reconnaissance.
At present, Russia's Vega Radio Engineering Corp. is the only domestic company which manufactures UAVs for the Russian Armed Forces.
The company's new-generation Tipchak mobile aerial system has been designed for reconnaissance and target designation purposes on the battlefield in any weather conditions. The first Tipchak system was put in service at the end of 2008.
Tipchak operates up to six UAVs launched from a pneumatic catapult. Each UAV has a range of 40 kilometers (25 miles) and a 3-hour endurance. It can provide targeting for artillery and theater-based ballistic missiles at distances up to 350 km (about 220 miles).
The new Dozor-3 UAV takes off and lands as a regular aircraft, and has a 6-hour endurance.
Russia Russia has also bought 12 unmanned aerial vehicles from Israel in a recent deal worth $53 million.