Antonov to Revitalize its Heavy HALE UCAV Project

State company Antonov, Ukraine’s top leading aircraft maker, has decided to unfreeze its HALE-H UCAV project
Artist’s rendition of Antonov’s future heavy HALE unmanned combat aerial vehicle
Artist’s rendition of Antonov’s future heavy HALE unmanned combat aerial vehicle

The initiative to re-launch Antonov’s heavy, high altitude long endurance unmanned combat unmanned aerial vehicle (HALE-H UCAV) was championed by Ukroboronprom, Antonov’s holding company

“Ukroboronprom has proposed that we should consider restarting our private venture project to develop a heavy HALE unmanned combat aerial vehicle”, UAV program director at Antonov, Mykola Vorobyov told ArmyInform in an interview.

The initiative to domestically develop a heavy HALE UCAV was endorsed by senior executives at the state-run companies Antonov and Ivchenko-Progress (that are both affiliated with Ukroboronprom defense industries group), as well as PAT Motor-Sich (member company of the Ukrainian League of Defense Industries) that is supposed to provide its AI-450 engine for the planned UAV platform.

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Artist’s impression of Antonov’s projected HALE-H UCAV / ArmyInform photo

“The venture project would develop a heavy UAV with a three-ton take-off weight and a payload capacity of some 800 kg,” Mr Vorobyov said.

A version of the AI-450 engine is installed in Turkey’s initial three Akinci UCAVs

That said, the cost of R&D and technology demonstrator is supposed to be funded privately by the project stakeholder companies with no government funding involved.

Mockup model of Antonov’s projected HALE UCAV seen on display at the 2018 Arms & Security Expo in Kyiv

In this project, Antonov would commit to providing an UAV platform, inclusive of an engine and landing gear.

Antonov UAV program director Mykola Vorobyov seen presenting the initial version of the company’s projected HALE UCAV at the Arms & Security Expo 2018

It is envisaged that the project technology demonstrator would be introduced to potential customers and investors in order to secure the requisite funding to kick-start production.

As DE reported earlier, Antonov first unveiled its heavy HALE UCAV project – albeit with a twice better performance -- at the 2018 Arms & Security Expo in Kyiv.
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