Russia’s shotgun-firing drone is designed to shoot down enemy drones

A video emerged in the last days of a particularly frightening concept: a drone with a shotgun mounted on its fuselage. But it does not seem to be designed to hunt people: the video is a demonstration of a Russian device designed for smaller aircraft, namely other drones.

The drone seems to have begun to develop. in 2016 (through Foxtrot Alpha ) of a group of students at the Moscow Aviation Institute. While there have been cases of people mounting firearms (and chainsaws) on unmanned aircraft, there are some drawbacks: the recoil of a shot makes it impractical to actually be an effective weapons platform.

According to Defense.ru students seem to have solved that problem by developing a stabilization mechanism to improve its accuracy. The Russian arms manufacturer Almaz-Antey was granted a patent for the design and, presumably, created the prototype.

The drone itself is armed with a Russian-made Vepr-12 shotgun, and an operator wearing a visor can control the drone from the ground. The plane takes off vertically, can fly for about 40 minutes and, according to C4ISRNET is designed as a platform to attack small drones from the air. The video shows the drone in action, flying to attack a balloon target and then an RC plane.

Another video from a year ago shows that the drone does not necessarily have to be airborne to be functional either:

In theory, it's an interesting idea that a drone with a gun installed (or is it a gun with wings?) It could be a kind of anti-drone defense. Drones are already a threat on the battlefield, as militaries around the world have had to deal with military and commercial drones produced for war in Iraq, Israel, Afghanistan and, in particular, Syria. In some cases, unmanned aircraft have been used to launch explosives at enemy forces, but they do not necessarily have to be armed to be effective: they can simply capture videos for use in propaganda.

As a result, there is also a large market for defenses against drones: the Drone Study Center at Bard College discovered there were "at least 235 drone products on the market or in active development" a year ago. He discovered that the most common defensive measure was an interference system, such as what Gatwick and Heathrow airports bought to protect their airspace from raids with drones, while other concepts such as microwave guns, nets and even birds of prey, they are also being tested. This particular method, dealing directly with the threat in question, seems to be a flexible way to address the problem, since this particular aircraft does not require specialized launch facilities or equipment and, in theory, could hunt an enemy plane quickly.

Sam Bendett, of the CNA defense research and analysis organization, tells The Verge that this type of system seems to be the result of Russian experiences with drone in Syria, and noted that the members of his service are being trained to deal with them. Russian drones, he says, as "a plethora of electronic warfare systems – stationary, mobile, portable – to deal with UAVs," and that electronic countermeasures are "done regularly and consistently." He notes that this particular drone is a prototype, and suggests that "it may have been [created as] a simple measure of 'gap' to help the forces against small and cheap systems." It is another tool in an arsenal against larger drones.

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