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Army 2021: Kronshtadt displays expanded range of weapons for Grom UAV

Russian company Kronshtadt has taken the opportunity at the Army 2021 exhibition being held in Kubinka near Moscow on 22–28 August to showcase a full-scale mock-up of its Grom (Thunder) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with two Kh-58UShKE anti-radiation missiles.

Company officials told Janes that the Grom has a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 7,000 kg with a payload capacity of up to 2,000 kg. The air vehicle can operate out to a distance of 800 km when equipped with two Kh-58UShKE missiles, which weigh a total of 1,300 kg. However, maximum range decreases to 700 km when fully laden.

According to company specifications, the Grom has a length of 13.8 m, a wingspan of 10 m, and a height of 3.8 m. It can attain cruising and maximum speeds of up to 800 km/h and 1,000 km/h respectively, and an operating ceiling of 12,000 m (39,370 ft).

GROM UAV seen with Kh-58USkKE anti-radar missile at the Army 2021 exhibition. (Nikolai Novichkov)

GROM UAV seen with Kh-58USkKE anti-radar missile at the Army 2021 exhibition. (Nikolai Novichkov)

Kronshtadt explained that the air vehicle can carry a range of ordnance using its two underwing hardpoints and two hardpoints within its internal payload bay.

The Grom will also be capable of carrying Kh-38 air-to-surface missiles. Kronshtadt displayed the 520 kg Kh-38MLE laser-guided missile next to the mock-up, although it is understood that the entire range of modular Kh-38ME missile can be used. The range comprises four missiles with various warheads – such as high-explosive fragmentation and penetration – and guidance systems: inertial with satellite navigation (Kh-38MKE), inertial thermal imaging (Kh-38MTE), inertial active radar (Kh-38MAE), and inertial laser (Kh-38MLE). The missile type can engage targets at speeds of more than Mach 2 out to a maximum of 70 km.

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