While other nations have had a noticeable head start in the field of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs), Russia is quickly catching up through local developments. The Korsar is one of the latest examples of a capable UAS set to achieve operational-level service with Russian forces in the near-future. Development of this all-weather, multi-role drone is attributed to the Luch Design Bureau (under the Roselektronika - ROSTEC / Rostech - parent label) and the system can be used to tackle various airborne roles including aerial surveying, observation, and unarmed / armed reconnaissance roles making it an ideal tactical solution for forward-operating elements. Beyond this, special-mission equipment can make it an effective airborne Electronic Warfare (EW) platform.
The Korsar was first showcased in prototype form in 2015 at the Army International Military-Technical Forum followed by a demonstration during the 2018 Moscow Victory Parade. An export-minded version, with slightly reduced performance capabilities, was revealed at MAKS 2019. A Russian naval variant is known as the "Korsar-M".
The vehicle is given a weight of 440 lb (200 kg) with a maximum take-off weight nearing 882 lb (400 kg) and has a wingspan of 21.3 feet (6.5 m) and an overall length of 13.8 feet (4.2 m).
The overall design is sleek with smoothly-contouring lines. Hull chine is noticeable where the upper and lower fuselage sections are joined. The mainplanes are near-shoulder-mounted and are straight in their general shape for good low-and-slow loitering sorties. Tailplanes are held on rearward-extended booms and are joined at their tips, resulting in an inward-cranked appearance of the rudder pair (known as a "V-tail arrangement"). The tricycle undercarriage is wheeled and retractable in the design, preserving aerodynamic efficiency to an extent. The nose contains all pertinent mission and avionics systems while a blister pack is slung under the fuselage. There is a noticeable bulge of the fuselage at the mid-dorsal section.
The air vehicle is powered by a conventional engine (rated between 50- and 70-horsepower) driving a propeller unit in pusher arrangement, capable of reaching speeds of 95 miles-per-hour (approximately 150 kmh).
The system features an operating range of up to 560 miles (900 km) and its communications set can transmit data from up to 100 km away from the receiver source. Special relay equipment / ground vehicles can enhance this reach even further for ground commanders. The aircraft can stay aloft for up to eight hours and reach operating altitudes of up to 16,404 feet (5,000 m).
In late 2020, it was reported that the Korsar was undergoing active operational evaluation with Russian military forces. As many as three may have been built heading into 2022. The series may have been operationally used in the Syrian Civil War (2011-Present) alongside Russian elements.
(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.
✓Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
Aircraft inherently designed (or later developed) with an unmanned capability to cover a variety of over-battlefield roles.
Houses, or can house (through specialized variants), radar equipment for searching, tracking, and engagement of enemy elements.
Can reach and operate at higher altitudes than average aircraft of its time.
EXTENDED RANGE PERFORMANCE
Capability to travel considerable distances through onboard fuel stores.
Features retracting / retractable undercarriage to preserve aerodynamic efficiency.
Design features ability to fly sans pilot, actions controlled onboard through programming and / or ground-based operator.
13.8 ft (4.20 m)
21.3 ft (6.50 m)
441 lb (200 kg)
882 lb (400 kg)
+441 lb (+200 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Luch Korsar production variant)
monoplane / shoulder-mounted / straight
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represent the most popular mainplane arrangement.
Mainplanes are mounted at the upper section of the fuselage, generally at the imaginary line intersecting the pilot's shoulders.
The planform involves use of basic, straight mainplane members.
(Structural descriptors pertain to the Luch Korsar production variant)
1 x Conventional piston engine outputting between 50hp and 70hp driving two-bladed propeller at rear of fuselage in pusher arrangement.
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