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HEMUS 2024: Local attack drone unveiled by Samel-90

The SAMJET joins a competitive market for one-way attack UAVs. (Janes/Christopher Petrov)

Bulgarian company Samel-90 unveiled its own proposal for a one-way attack unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) known as SAMJET, at international defence exhibition HEMUS 2024, in Sofia, Bulgaria. The UAV is designed to be both cost-effective and time-efficient to produce, and its design converges on a common shape that resembles other one-way attack UAVs found in the market.

The SAMJET relies on an assisted take-off using two small rocket motors attached to the underside of the fuselage. With a two-blade propeller, the company says the UAV can travel at 120 to 250 km/h, with a range of up to several hundred kilometres. Its endurance ranges from 60 to 120 minutes, likely dependent on several factors including external conditions and the need for evasive manoeuvres. It can be fitted with a shaped charge warhead starting at 2 kg and going up to 5 kg, although there are plans to also include the option of a thermobaric warhead, the company said.

The UAV is designed to provide a camera feed from two onboard cameras, as well as its position relative to the ground displayed on a map. It is controlled remotely using a portable interface either held or vehicle mounted. The UAV can store programmed GPS co-ordinates and travel to a target without manual steering.

Samel-90 say the SAMJET is entirely designed and produced in Bulgaria. It will present it to the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence in the coming months and will offer it for export. The company says the UAV is already in service abroad, without elaborating on operators or countries.

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