Russian Company 'Kronstadt' Begins Development of the Grom Combat Drone

Russian Company 'Kronstadt' Begins Development of the Grom Combat Drone
Russia Begins Development of the Grom Combat Drone

Moscow - Russian drone developer Kronstadt said that they have started work on preliminary designs for the Grom combat drone (UCAV) under a state contract. This was conveyed at the Army-2022 forum in Patriot Park, Moscow. However, the target for the first flight of the prototype drone, whose project was first introduced in the Army-2020 forum, was not explained.

The Grom which means Thunder is the second type of loyal wingman aircraft developed by Russia after the Sukhoi S-70 Okhotnik-B (Hunter). The Grom is characterized by a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 7 tons, a length of 13.8 m, a height of 3.8 m, and a wingspan of 10 m.

Its flight speed is about 1,000 km/hour with a maximum altitude of up to 12,000 m. Its combat radius is 700-800 km with a payload of up to 2,000 kg.

The weapons that the Grom can carry include smart bombs and air-to-ground missiles such as the KAB-500, MAM-L, KAB-250-LG-E, and Izdelie 85. The Grom is capable of performing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. attacks, and electronic warfare whether operating alone or in networked autonomous swarms.

Grom can also act as a loyal wingman working in conjunction with manned aircraft, either fighter jets or air command and control (AWE&C) aircraft. In a combat mission, the Grom will operate in a single connection with Su-35 fighter jets and Su-57 stealth jets to break through enemy air defense systems and destroy them.

In addition to his own combat capabilities, Grom can also control a swarm of 10 Molniya small combat drones that the company is also developing. Molniya drones will continue to communicate with each other and with the controller drone. There is a constant exchange of data between drones. It is also possible to change the mission of each drone in the group, replacing each other.

Through artificial intelligence (AI), it is possible for drones to fulfill missions in groups without constant communication with command and control aircraft. In its class, Grom will face off against the Kratos XQ-58A Valkyrie from the United States and the CASC FH-97 from China. All three have similar design characteristics.

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