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Thu, Aug 22, 2019

Russia Conducts Test Flight Of New Reconnaissance Drone

HALE Aircraft Could Eventually Be Armed, Analysts Say

The Russian Ministry of Defense has released video of the first flight of its new Altius-U HALE drone, which has been plagued with setbacks and cost overruns.

According to Business Insider, TASS reported that the six-ton aircraft flew for about 32 minutes on Tuesday. It reached an altitude of about 2,600 feet, though Russia says it will eventually be able to fly much higher to penetrate air defenses of its adversaries.

The Russian MoD says that the Altius-U, which is Russia's response to the RQ-4 Global Hawk, will have an endurance of up to 24 hours. Samuel Bendett, a researcher at the CNA Corporation, told Business Insider that while the test flight was conducted carrying ISR equipment, the Altius-U will eventually be armed, allowing it to carry out precision attacks. It is believed to be capable of carrying up to one ton of ordinance.

This is the second first flight of a Russian military drone to be conducted this month. Two weeks ago, Russia demonstrated its "Hunter" drone. But Bennett said that "a lot has to happen" before either aircraft is operational a part of the Russian arsenal.

(Image provided with Russian Defense Ministry handout via Reuters)

FMI: Source report

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