Disposable Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV)
The Kian was unveiled in early September of 2019 by Iranian state media as the latest in Iranian UAV prowess and capability.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
It is no secret that the nation of Iran seeks to showcase itself as a major global military power - this under the restrictions of long-standing sanctions. Its domestic military capabilities have been in consistent growth for the last few decades, giving rise to various new instruments of war including small arms, armored vehicles, air defense systems and - more recently - Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Iran's collection of foreign-acquired and domestically-produced drones has grown considerably over the last ten years and each new promoted system has, in turn, promoted all new capabilities to its regional enemies and the world as a whole.
On September 1st, the "Kian" - said to be of wholly indigenous design and development - was unveiled by the Army and state-run media, offering the nation a new disposable reconnaissance-attack drone with a "beyond-borders" reach. The air vehicle represents one of the latest UAVs reportedly available to the service.
Its design arrangement is relatively basic, characterized by a well-streamlined fuselage making up most of the aircraft's mass. The wing mainplanes are the only horizontal planes featured in the design and these members are set well-aft of midships, offering the needed flight control surfaces. At the tail end of the fuselage sits a single vertical fin. Internally, there appears to be a conventional propulsion scheme used in which a multi-bladed propeller unit is seated at the extreme end of the fuselage in "pusher" fashion. Video shows the Kian being launched from its support assembly (either on the ground or from the flat bed section of a truck) into the air under rocket assistance while the pusher prop is active. Once airborne (and the rocket fuel presumably is spent), the aircraft proceeds to the target/target area under the power of its prop-driven engine.
Iranian Army officials have detailed the Kian to have an operating ceiling of 15,000 feet with a range out to 620 miles. Design, development and testing are said to have all taken place within the span of twelve months.
As with other Iranian-born products, however, the statements and promoted videos should be taken with a grain of salt for the nation has made it a habit of featuring "all-new" domestic designs through media releases and field exercises before - promoting their precision and destruction capabilities without much evidence. As such, only time will tell if the Kian is something more than a propaganda tool.