Iran has consistently worked to broaden its Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs) inventory in the last decade and these have produced some forgettable and some promising results. The nation has been assisted some by the downing and capturing of Western drones marauding into its airspace to which the Iranians have re-engineered several useful copies of these products for their own use. The IAIO "Fotros" ("Fallen Angel") represents a major improvement over preceding types and is categorized as an Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) signifying it has an air-launch missile weapons capability beyond that of the usual Intelligence-Reconnaissance-Surveillance (ISR) roles over the battlefield. First flight of the system is said to have taken place during November of 2013 and it was introduced to the public that same month by way of ceremony.
Outwardly, the Fotros certainly takes on the design form of several Western-originated drones (including the nose which appears to mimic that of the General Atomics Predator). It features a straight wing mainplane arrangement, twin-boom tail unit, and rear-mounted conventional engine installation. The engine drives a two-bladed propeller in a "pusher" arrangement. The nose of the aircraft is bulbous and most likely houses the avionics set while optics and other mission equipment are held at the belly. The undercarriage is wheeled and retractable - the Fotros can take off and land from prepared runways only. Its wings support at least one hardpoint each for the carrying of Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs) or other precision attack weapon.
Fotros is manufactured by Iran Aviation Industries Organization (IAIO). The vehicle is said to exhibit an operational endurance of some 30 hours with a range out to 2,000 kilometers. A service ceiling of 25,000 feet is reported. Of course due to Iranian secrecy, these values can be considered suspect until formally proven.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Ground Attack (Bombing, Strafing)
Ability to conduct aerial bombing of ground targets by way of (but not limited to) guns, bombs, missiles, rockets, and the like.
✓Close-Air Support (CAS)
Developed to operate in close proximity to active ground elements by way of a broad array of air-to-ground ordnance and munitions options.
Aircraft inherently designed (or later developed) with an unmanned capability to cover a variety of over-battlefield roles.
27.1 ft (8.25 m)
160.8 ft (49.00 m)
23.0 ft (7.00 m)
1,146 lb (520 kg)
2,260 lb (1,025 kg)
+1,113 lb (+505 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base IAIO Fotros (Fallen Angel) production variant)
1 x Conventional engine driving two-blade propeller in pusher configuration.
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