Russian defense manufacturer Technodinamika Group announced on Wednesday that it is currently upgrading its VM-V unmanned target helicopters to support strike and air reconnaissance missions.
Technodinamika CEO Igor Nasenkov revealed that the company has already begun modification work for the unmanned platform, increasing its payload capacity and performance, particularly its range and flight duration.
The VM-V helicopter simulator has a reported flight duration of two hours and a maximum altitude of 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles). It can also maintain radio communications at a maximum range of 150 kilometers (93 miles).
“All these measures will help expand the area of employing drones,” Nasenkov explained, as quoted by state-owned TASS News Agency. “Advanced drone prototypes can be used for air reconnaissance, target acquisition in real time, and combat strike missions without engaging manned aircraft.”
Last year, the VM-V unmanned target helicopter successfully passed state trials held at a proving ground of the Chkalov State Flight Testing Center. The first batch of such simulators was delivered to the Russian military in late 2020, while the next delivery is expected in early 2022.
Earlier this month, the VM-V target helicopter was used to test the striking capabilities of Russia’s Orion combat drone.
The Russian Ministry of Defense revealed that the reconnaissance and attack drone fired an unspecified air-to-air munition at the unmanned helicopter, which was seen simulating a maneuvering air target.
In the absence of other air defense systems, the Orion successfully identified and destroyed the helicopter during the test.