Russia is hoping to develop drones capable of carrying payloads of up to one ton (907 kilograms), an executive of the Russian Helicopters Group (RHG) of Rostec corporation announced on Sunday.
The goal was revealed amid last week’s biennial MAKS-2021 International Aviation and Space Salon, as countries showcased their aerospace technology in Moscow.
According to RHG Marketing and Business Director Oleg Landin, the country will first develop a drone that can carry around 200 kilograms (440 pounds), then upgrade its capacity to a ton.
At present, Russia’s highest-capacity drones, the BAS-200 and the VRT-300, can carry 50 and 80 kilograms (110 to 176 pounds) of payload, respectively.
Developed by RHG, the BAS-200 UAV has a maximum take-off weight of 200 kilograms (440 pounds) and can fly up to 160 kilometers (99 miles) per hour. Its engine allows the drone to fly for up to four hours at a maximum altitude of 3,900 meters (2.4 miles).
The vehicle includes a ground control station that allows operators to control the drone from up to 100 kilometers (62 miles) away.
The BAS-200 can carry out a variety of missions including monitoring terrain, cargo delivery, search and rescue operations, and agricultural work.
The vehicle was featured for the first time during the MAKS-2021 air show.
In 2017, VR Technologies launched an unmanned rotorcraft, the VRT-300, to facilitate unmanned cargo delivery and monitor transportation infrastructure.
The drone was also developed for arctic ice patrols to support safe maritime navigation, allowing the vehicle to measure ice thickness, engage in search-and-rescue operations at sea, and determine the extent of ice fields for polar science stations.
The VRT-300 can travel up to 600 kilometers (372 miles) at a maximum speed of 180 kilometers (111 miles) per hour.