А presentation of the model of the Sokol-300 strike UAV, developed by the Luch design bureau, took place at the Ukrainian state enterprise Zhulyanskiy Machine-Building Plant Vizar, BMPD Live Journal reports. It was to be premiered during the Arms and Security 2020 exhibition in Kiev, which was canceled due to the pandemic. The prototype flight is planned in about 8-9 months, provided financing of the project is secured.
The Ukrainian attack unmanned aerial vehicle has been developed over the past 1.5 years at the Luch (Lucz) design bureau. Interestingly, from July this year, when information about this unmanned aerial vehicle first appeared, it changed its name from Sokol-200 to Sokol-300 ; this means that the maximum lifting capacity has been increased to 300 kg, Bulgarian Military reports. The maximum take-off weight ranges from 1,130 to 1,225 kg, depending on the propulsion unit used. There are three options that affect performance and weight: the Ukrainian MS-500W and I-450T turbine engines from Motor Sich, or the four-cylinder Rotax 914 turbocharged. Turboprop variants achieve higher altitude and speed, but at the expense of flight time, which was set at 26 hours for the piston engine version. However, in this version the maximum speed is 210 km / h, while in the variant powered by the MS-500 turbine it is over 580 km/h.
At the same time, the operational range for the drone with any type of engine is the same: 150 km with direct radio communication and 300 km when using a radio repeater. It is also planned to equip the Sokol-300 UAV with radio technical equipment: a small-sized airborne radar station and a synthetic aperture radar.
The weapons include guided missiles with a range of up to 10 km. During the development of the UAV, the experience of development and technical solutions for the "Neptune" was taken into account. In particular, the system is controlled from a mobile control station, which is unified with the control station of the RK-360 missile system of the Neptune MC and is located on the chassis of a truck, the brand of which is determined by the customer.
In the front part of the fuselage, a special fairing houses the Radionix synthetic aperture radar, which provides both reconnaissance and terrain navigation in all conditions. Under the fuselage, there is the Ukrainian OPSN-I optoelectronic head, also used in the digitized and armed with guided missiles version of the Mi-8MSB-W helicopter, presented at last year’s Arms and Security 2019 exhibition in Kiev. The UAV can indeed be armed with 4 Barier-W guided missiles produced by the same company.
In terms of operational capabilities, the Sokół-300 machine is intended to fill the gap between the tactical Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aerial vehicles already used by Ukraine and the Baykar Akinci machines that are in the final stage of development, which are likely to be produced by Turkey in cooperation with Ukraine, Bulgarian Military concludes.