In order to be at the front-line along with other nations empowering their defense systems, Russia, one of the powerful nations of the world, too is focused on fuelling its defense system.
Lately, the nation has announced to spend a whopping amount of about US $9 billion on its military UAVs (Unmanned Ariel Vehicles) by 2020.
The sole mission of Russian defense ministry splurging on such a huge budget is to acquire new drones, which will boost the investigation, communication & combat facilities of the Russian armed forces. Right now, the Russian military is operating a fleet of about 500 drones.
Why Russia is investing such a Whopping Budget in UAVs?
Well, the surveillance necessities of Russia are indisputable as the recent war in Georgia showed the value of UAVs, out of most were Israeli-built.
As compared to manned aircrafts, UAVs (Unmanned Ariel Vehicles) feature a much smaller area of view and they also are prone to accidents. However, they facilitate long endurance, centralized monitoring chopping off cost per-hour. Such a combination is supposed to be perfect for keeping an eye on critical infrastructure such as long oil & gas pipelines.
Two-fold Russian UAVs Issues:
Apart from above mentioned cause, the UAV related problems of Russia are two-fold. The first one is that Russia somewhat lags behind in Unmanned Arial Vehicle technology. Their defense sector is still brittle owing to the shocking budget cutbacks in 1990s when the economy and defense expenses of Russia collapsed.
For a country like Russia, small to mid-sized UAVs are not so technically difficult aerospace project. However, the main problem lies in locating project resources & time can be challenging in a federal system, which has yet to recover as well as update, & calls for its accessible engineers to back up strategic &/or export-oriented projects on hand.
Since 2007, the nation has made considerable progress in this field; however it didn’t work out their immediate issue at the time and the sluggishness of that progress can give a clear idea why the issue is still hanging around. And above it the performance of Russian UAV in Georgia has added to their difficulties.
Now, let’s shed light on their second d problem which is less biddable, as it has been a lingering Russian weak point.
In order to perform well, UAVs need miniaturization as well as lightweight components for their payloads. This has always been a headache for Russian equipment that tends to be overbuilt rather than over engineered. Also the nation has traditionally had problems producing convenient electronics that are needed for the back-end of UAVs.
Nations like US and Israel having ultra-modern and hi-tech UAVs, have somehow put Russia to devise its UAVs strategy.
Source: Defence Aviation