Ramzay Developing Laser Homing Missiles for Use with its New Armed Rotor Drone

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Ramzay’s combat helicopter drone prototype / Screengrab from Apostrophe TV
Ramzay’s combat helicopter drone prototype / Screengrab from Apostrophe TV

Ukraine will soon start developing cost-effective, laser-homing missiles for use with its first indigenous armed helicopter drone

PrAT Ramzay, a Ukrainian private defense contractor, has continued developing the country’s first indigenous unmanned combat helicopter.

The drone has been designed with a payload capacity of 200 kg, inclusive of half of that load for precision-guided missiles, PrAT Ramzay told Security Talks in an interview hosted by Valentyn Badrak.

Read more: Private Company Ramzay has Developed an Attack Helicopter Drone

Missile guidance will be done assisted by the advanced weapon/fire control kit PrK-R-21, which is a compact-size version of the PrK-R-11 system, itself a follow-on evolution to the renowned 524R missile fire control kit used on attack helicopters.

524R missile fire control kit has undergone several rounds of testing and certification

“This kit comprises Ramzay’s proprietary autopilot system, weapons control system, a high-tech, stabilized weapon platform fitted with three TV camera sensors, laser sensor, laser range finder, and thermal imaging sensor to facilitate the aiming and guidance of precision-guided munitions,” Yuri Polyovyy, PrAT Ramzay CEO told Security Talks.

PrAT Ramzay CEO, Yuri Polyovyy seen standing amid a prototype of Ukraine’s first indigenous attack helicopter UAV / Screenshot from Apostrophe TV

524R, in its baseline configuration, has day/night capabilities for guidance and control of two RK-2V/Barrier-V ATGM missiles that can reach targets out to 7,500 m and are guided by a semi-automatic laser homing seeker, with the laser beam focused on the tail of the missile.

The weapon/fire control kit PrK-21 is specifically tailored for use on Ramzay’s new attack helicopter UAV

PrK-21 can also support a conventional laser homing technique where the missile follows the trajectory of target-reflected laser beam, making it compatible for use with laser-guided projectiles of NATO armies.

Roketsan MAM-L laser guided munitions are the main armament used on the Turkish developed UCAVs Bayraktar TB2

Laser target illumination technique is used for guidance and control of Roketsan MAM-c MAM-L munitions fielded on Turkey’s Bayraktar TB2 UCAVs and of guided versions of U.S.-developed, 70-mm HAP Hydra 70 missiles with semi-active laser seekers.

US-developed, guided versions of the HAP Hydra 70 APKWS II rocket are fitted with semi-active laser seekers; they are cost effective and of low weight

A similar technique is employed for control and guidance of “heavier”, helicopter-launched ATGMs like Turkey’s UMTAS or U.S. AGM-114 Hellfire.

The air-launched AGM-114 Hellfire missile has the capability of fire and forget operations; it weighs 45-50 kg and is guided on target by laser beam

“We can even today take onboard [the drone] the currently existing, NATO standard weapons with laser homing seekers. Our immediate plans are to develop similarly guided rocket munitions that would be as cost effective as possible, “ Mr Polyovyy has said.

The laser guided 152/155-mm artillery round Kvitnyk and its related seeker heads

Ukraine has a certain amount of knowledge and experience in developing missiles that use laser illumination guidance, yet the country currently doesn’t have its indigenous laser homing missiles in full-rate series production.

Poland’s Pirat ATGM, even though it has been developed derived from Ukraine’s KB Luch RK-3 Korsar/Corsair missile, uses a wholly different method for laser guidance

Here the talk is about the 152/155 mm semi-active laser guided artillery round Kvitnyk and the Polish-Ukrainian ATGM Pirat that integrates Polish-developed seeker head with the Ukrainian developed RK-3 Korsar ATGM.

Read more: Ukraine's brand new combat UAV debuts at IDEX 2021