Russian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) manufacturer ZALA Aero, a subsidiary of Rostec's Kalashnikov Group, has developed a new variant of its fixed-wing ZALA-421-16E5 UAV.
Unlike the baseline air vehicle that is powered by an electric motor, the ZALA-421-16E5 ICE variant features an electronically managed internal combustion engine powering a pusher propeller. The new variant is intended for reconnaissance and border control missions.
The ZALA-421-16E5 ICE has a wingspan of 5.3 m, a maximum take-off weight of 29.5 kg, a range of approximately 100 km, and an endurance of up to 20 hours. The vehicle can be operated at temperatures between -50 C° and +50 C° and can withstand wind speeds of up to 15 m/s.
The air vehicle is launched by a catapult and carries an integral parachute and shock absorber for landing.
"The vehicle's structure comprises two detachable wing consoles and a fuselage," a company source told Jane's . "When stripped down, the UAV is transported in a single polymer box."
The ZALA-421-16E5 ICE can carry up to 5 kg of mission payload, with a guidance system comprising a GPS/GLONASS receiver and inertial measurement unit.
"The drone can be fitted with an HD daylight camera, zooming thermal imager, and gamma-ray detector," the source added. "All the sensors are integrated onto a gyrostabilised platform."
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