Russia is adapting two amphibious assault ships under construction to include drone capabilities, TASS has reported, citing a source.
The outlet added that the Project 23900 vessels Ivan Rogov and Mitrofan Moskalenko will be modified to carry “a certain number of strike and reconnaissance rotary-wing drones” along with helicopters.
According to the outlet, the addition of unmanned platforms to the vessel’s deck will boost the choppers’ combat capabilities. “The drones will be capable of effectively providing fire support for an amphibious assault force, reporting on the tactical environment in the area of its landing and in the course of special operations, ferreting out and, if necessary, eliminating stealth watercraft.”
Seaborne Platform For Drones
In a previous report, the outlet revealed that the country was building a seaborne platform to host many medium and lightweight rotary and fixed-wing tactical and reconnaissance drones. It’s not clear whether the platform is either of the two Project 23900 vessels.
According to the report, developers are working to ensure that the platform provides sufficient protection for the drones’ “onboard electronics from the aggressive maritime environment” and retain the “accuracy of instruments for deck landing.” The source added that developers are also working on repairing a crash-landed aircraft. The platform will have a pneumatic catapult to launch fixed-wing unmanned aircraft.
“The shipborne platform for unmanned and autonomous systems will enable their tactical use along coastal terrain and in open sea areas,” the outlet quoted a source as saying.