Home Aircraft / Aviation Naval Warfare Land Systems Small Arms

Yakovlev Pchela (Bee)

ISR Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

The Yakovlev Pchela is used in the over-battlefield, data-collecting role by the Russian Air Force.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 11/15/2018
In recent years, Russian defense forces have been adopting Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in greater numbers. One type in having made its way into the inventory of the Russian Air Force is the compact Yakovlev "Pchela" ("Bee") which is used for the Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR) role. The system is used by the militaries of both Russia and North Korea (2018). A first-flight was recorded in 1990.

The vehicle's design consists of a tube-like fuselage which houses the optics and avionics set in the front and the powerpack in the rear. The optics are held in a traversing "blister" mounted in the chin position and integrates real-time video feeds with protected data-link capability - giving ground commanders access to real-time battlefield data. The engine drives a shrouded propeller unit in "pusher" configuration at the tail. Over midships is a shoulder-mounted, straight wing mainplane. The undercarriage is a static, shock-absorbing four-legged tube assembly.

As designed, the air vehicle has a an operational range out to about 40 miles from its ground remote-control post and can reach altitudes in excess of 8,000 feet. Maximum speed reaches over 110 mph. The system can remain airborne for some two total hours. The launch process requires use of two solid-propellant booster rocket-driven engines and recovery is by way of a parachute deployed to retard the fall of the vehicle as it returns to the ground. The vehicle is flown either through pre-set mission waypoints (automated flight) or by remote, manual input by a ground-based operator.

Beyond its stated value to the ISR role, the Pchela can also be used to designate targets for accompanying attack aircraft and can further serve as a target drone for training actions. Like other UAVs of this class, the Pchela is designed with a modular payload-carrying capability which can be arranged to suit the needs of the customer.

According to Yakovlev marketing materials, the complete Pchela field system includes up to ten air vehicles with associated (dispensable) booster launchers, the mobile GCS and launch rail (built into the compact tracked, air-droppable BTR-D armored vehicle), a supporting URAL-4320 military truck, and a loader-transporter GAZ-66 series military truck.


Active, In-Service
[ 100 Units ] :
Yakovlev OKB - Soviet Union / Russia
National flag of North Korea National flag of Russia North Korea; Russia
- Reconnaissance (RECCE)
- Training
- Unmanned
(Showcased structural dimension values pertain to the Yakovlev Pchela-1T production model)
Empty Weight:
220 lb (100 kg)
309 lb (140 kg)
(Diff: +88lb)
(Showcased weight values pertain to the Yakovlev Pchela-1T production model)
1 x Conventional drive motor arranged in pusher configuration. Solid-fueled rocket-boosted launches.
(Showcased powerplant information pertains to the Yakovlev Pchela-1T production model)
Maximum Speed:
112 mph (180 kph; 97 kts)
Service Ceiling:
8,202 feet (2,500 m; 1.55 miles)
Maximum Range:
37 miles (60 km; 32 nm)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the Yakovlev Pchela-1T production model; Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database)
None. Typical fit is mission-related equipment for the Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance role (cameras and sensors with real-time feed/data-link).
(Showcased armament details pertain to the Yakovlev Pchela-1T production model)
Pchela - Base Series Name.
Pchela-1T - Main production model.

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.

Part of a network of sites that includes AnvilOfWar.com, GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, and WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft.

www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-