Thanks for the detailed answer, the writer also contradicts himself saying he is relying on Iran specs but yet he knows the guidance method and everything.Not sure who the author is, and obviously it is hurried "research" if one can call it that. With a little bit of time, and prior knowledge one can find alot of verifiable details. It's hard to even start with this one, but its definitely either is just rushed and poorly "researched" or deliberate dis-information. I guess I should try to clear some things up.
I am curious as to where you found the engine on Aliexpress if you can show me the link, unless you just meant component level. As far as our research goes, the engine is a German Limbach L550E engine. It is a patented design, so I would be surprised to see Aliexpress would have it. Either way, this engine is reverse engineered by Iranian MADO company made under the designation of M550 and used in many. different UAVs. Quick search on google will show.
This engine in the market costs around $23,000 so his cost estimation is already wrong. Actually production cost would be cheaper though
On to the body, alot of "analyists" believe the body is the same as a Harpy or some Harpy-copy. Once again, with very minimal research, one can see the honeycomb RAS design, layered with carbonfiber interior, and fiberglass exterior. This is part of the reason why radars have such trouble catching them from long ranges.
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A combination of INS and GPS/GNSS course correction is a very high of being inside the UAV. I'll give the clown that one. As for guidance, this is where things can be interesting. GPS can only get you so far if you are not using NATO military grade GPS.
1. Via IR sensor in the nose cap (Also seen in other UAS models)
2. Guided via another Recon UAV (Per Russian telegram sources). Apparently Recon UAVs can act as commanders and flying relays to guide suicide drones to their targets that are loitering around.
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The drone is actually large for a suicide UAV, much larger than a IAI Harop which is purported to have 1000km ferry range. On can see the human in relation to size. Arms length of a person only reaches 25% of the wingspan (if you can see the man), while an Arms length of the man with the Harop could go atleast 50% of the wingspan. It is also thicker from a side view.
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Laser system would be good if it had a clear LOS and within short ranges. This is a large front , and the long endurance of the UAS allows it to plan a flight path that avoids centers of high AD saturation. It's strange that he mentions lasers systems of Turkish or Israeli origin which are not even operational and are still in development/testing stages or not in production in high numbers. Meanwhile their are plenty of other systems from other NATO nations that can be used, but are not economical at all. GPS jammer won't be effective once it reaches near it's target or mission, if relay drones are involved and the UAS is under communication range.
Best case for GPS Jammer would be to use in the event Russia would use these for some deep strike missions. But due to its low RCS profile, it may not even be detected on time to use such systems nor can it be deployed in scale across the country. We've seen this play out already and if it's already near it's target by then, it's IR sensor complete a lock once its pre-deterimed target is within visual range.
You simply cannot use commercial level GPS to target something slightly thicker than a telephone poll perfectly. Or can you use it to target refinery towers in Abqaiq. It is simply not possible without accurate terminal guidance.
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If such assertion by these Russian telegram accounts about other drones providing guidance for these UAS's, once Russian get higher operational skills, they can use them in larger loitering swams, and instead of a single operator, commanding a single suicide drone, you'd have a 2 operators guiding 1 recon drone, and commanding suicide drones to attack designated targets. Which would make for interesting testing ground for how to operate a network of UAVs rather than single units individually.
In my opinion the cost of each drone would probably be around 20k-40k per unit, so something akin to a American JDAM which should be affordable for a country like Russia to have thousands of units if they can use these effectively, it would be worth it. Alas, most of this information is open source, as far as we are concerned this drone didn't even exist prior to it's usage in Abqaiq in 2019 and it's information is classified.
I really have no clue how they can let people like him write about a subject like this, i wanted to be sure he is a typical clown "military expert".
I don't know much about Iran's drone specs or capabilities except that same clowns like him were directly contradicted after a perfect strike on sensible Saudi structures.
I'm french, we have literally no drones or even a program, I'm impressed and at the same i'm laughing on how such a sanctioned country is managing to escape million dollar western systems, here the army purchases MQ9 from US, too much is made onto fighter jets and exporting way too much of them to unstable countries, we literaly don't have enough Rafales for ourselves, but these drones achieve strikes similar to them, Iran just needs a strong airforce and it would be perfect, too bad France would never sell Rafale jets or 2000Ns to Iran, they would have made the best use of them surely but i'm sure Iran will get an equivalent and make a decent indigenous program, they were literally 40 years in advance drone wise.