Russia has always been a forerunner in developing new arms technology. Mikhail Kalashnikov from Russia first developed automatic rifles that were called Kalashnikov rifles after him, but more commonly known as ‘AK’ rifles. Now, a Russian state-owned arms manufacturer Almaz-Antey has put these rifles on drones and given them the capability to fire at targets on their own. They can not only fire at targets but when the target moves away and the aim is missed, the drones can chase down the target till it is down or dead.
As terrifying as this technology sounds, it certainly beats all the existing automatic shooting equipment owned by other countries. This is designed to be a low-cost drone. Russia is now coming up with new, innovative and low-cost solutions for combat drones.
The Flying Rifle
This drone does not require a runway or catapult to be put into operation. They can lift from the ground and land vertically. This drone weighs about 23 kilograms and has a three-metre wingspan. It carries a 12-caliber Vepr 12 semi-automatic shotgun designed after the infamous Kalashnikov rifle.
It is difficult to obtain a stable flight control as the rifle moves around a lot in its carrier bow while firing. However, the engineers from the Moscow Aviation Institute say that their design can fire seamlessly at targets, maintaining full flight control all the while. They assure a stable flight when the drone is firing at targets and it can chase down the target. No disruptions due to the rifle firing will throw the drone off-course. The engineers have developed a highly efficient stabilizing and damping mechanism that will keep the drone steady during its operation. It can run for 40 minutes straight owing to the improved electric power supply.
Technology in the Arms Race
This drone has been primarily developed to fire at flying targets such as enemy drones. If this flying rifle can take down a flying counterpart, then there is definitely no doubt that it can hit humans on the ground during a war. Technology is taking over the battlefield. It is evident that soon enough the nation with the most advanced technology will be at the top. All the countries are currently racing against each other to get hold of more advanced technology. The flying rifle will prove to be a tough one to beat in the arms race.