Infantry Weapons

WB Electronics discloses next-generation Warmate development

08 August 2018

Prototype of the next-generation Warmate loitering weapon system. Source: WB Electronics

WB Electronics of Poland has disclosed development of a new generation of Warmate combat unmanned aircraft system (UAS). While its product designation is currently unspecified, the new, heavier variant builds on the legacy Warmate micro-class air vehicle and is expected to be officially unveiled in late August/early September this year.

The original Warmate concept – first unveiled in September 2014 – was a fully automated manportable ground-launched/vehicle-borne pneumatic targeted-strike capability for tactical anti-armour and anti-personnel applications. The initial concept was provided for a canister-launched (wings folded) system; however the evolved concept releases the air vehicle directly (wings unfolded) from the launcher. The system is also intended to be launched from UAS, but the status of this development is currently undisclosed.

The baseline Warmate air vehicle is 117 cm in length, has an unfolded wingspan of 159 cm, a maximum take-off weight of 5.3 kg, with a maximum payload of 1.4 kg. Initiated by a lightweight pneumatic catapult launcher and powered by a lithium-polymer battery-fuelled electric motor/aft-mounted pusher propeller propulsion assembly, Warmate has a stated instrumented air speed of 50–150 km/h, an operating altitude of between 328 ft and 1,640 ft above ground level, and a maximum flight/loitering endurance of 50 minutes.

Mission flight profiles – fully autonomous (to pre-programmed waypoints), loiter, cruise (straight line in the direction that the camera is facing), and attack – are controlled by a lightweight (4 kg) ground-control station (GCS) assembly, which comprises a ruggedised touchscreen laptop and a tripod-mounted bi-directional digital-encrypted datalink transceiver. Warmate’s line-of-sight datalink range/operating radius is 12 km.

The air vehicle can be armed with three interchangeable warhead types: a high-explosive anti-personnel warhead (designated GO-1-HE), which contains a 300 g explosive charge with an effective destructive radius of 10 m; a high-explosive anti-tank warhead (GO-1-HEAT) capable of penetrating 120 mm of rolled homogeneous armour; and an inert training warhead (GO-1-T).

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