Russia’s newest spy plane has started operational testing at OJSC Experimental Machine Building Plant n.a. V.M. Myasishchev (United Aircraft Corporation).
The surveillance plane designed for the Russian Air Force is a modified Antonov AN-140-100 light military transport aircraft.
United Aircraft Corporation was established in February 20th, 2006 for the development of the Russian aircraft industry, and implementation of aviation programs for the security and defense of the state. The corporation holds rights to Sukhoi, MiG, IL, Tu, Yak, Beriev, and the new SSJ 100 and MS-21.
Russian media reported the reconnaissance aircraft was moved to a test base for ground and flight test after completion of airframe and systems construction.
Safety, reliability and operability test of the installed equipment were carried out at the enterprise.
The aircraft will undergo special flight test at the end of preliminary phase. The flight tests are carried out by the V.P. Chkalov State Flight and Testing Center together with United Aircraft Corporation.
Managing Director of the plant, Alexander Gorbunov stated more than half of the aircraft’s flights have been successfully completed.
The Antonov AN-140-100 based spy plane is capable of executing cartography / aerial survey missions and can execute high resolution surveillance photography of terrain. High definition images thus obtained are applied to a wide variety of military and civilian activity.
The aircraft’s high-resolution cameras and sensors are placed in the fuselage section to photograph large areas for surveillance missions. Initial aerial surveillance data is transformed into digital information on terrain in order to create electronic maps, 3-D surface models and spatial data of reservoirs and plans for the shelf.
Advanced light armored helicopter for Russia
In related reports, CEO of Russian Helicopters Group (Rostec), Andrei Boginsky stated a Mil Mi-8AMTSh-VN has entered flight tests for Special Operations Forces.
Research and development work is proceeding along with construction of Mi-8AMTSh-VN. Chief executive stated flight test of the new helicopter has already started at their airframe building center. The first stage of preliminary testing is scheduled to be completed by November 2020.
Anatoliy Serdyukov, Industrial Director for Rostec’s Aviation Cluster reported Mi-8AMTSh-VN helicopter has been technically designed based on combat experience of helicopters in current armed conflicts.
Powerful engines that sustain at high-altitudes, an advanced rotor system and formidable weapons suite, enhanced protection of the new helicopter provide superior combat prowess for special operations in adverse environments. Two more helicopters of similar type have been sanctioned to join the defense fleet.
Russia’s Defense Ministry signed with Russian Helicopters for delivery of ten Mi-8AMTSh-VN special purpose helicopters at the Army-2019 international arms show. The special aircraft are scheduled to be delivered in 2021.
The new helicopter will benefit from extensive combat experience in Syria and will be equipped with special modification. Mi-8AMTSh-VN employs dual side mounted 12.7mm forward-firing heavy machine artillery. The special aircraft is equipped with new flight control and navigation equipment, gyro-stabilized opto-electronic system, and a special infrared emitter searchlight with dual-band lighting equipment is adapted for night vision.
The helicopters survivability is increased in combat due to a digital autopilot system, and an autonomous missile detection system capable of jamming homing missiles and releasing heat flares.
The fuselage and main systems are constructed from titanium alloy to protect the crew. The cargo compartment undercarriage and sides are shielded with lightweight bullet proof and fire-resistant Kevlar armor up to the windows.