During the Russian Ministry of Defense's "Army-2022" expo of August 2022, state corporation Progress Rocket and Space Center (RKC) unveil a new all-weather, fixed-wing drone design - the "Foton-601". The 127lb system is being developed for the Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR) and its broad, tactical-level mission roles are centered on video monitoring, data collection, artillery spotting / correction, and laser designation of ground targets for networked allied units.
Outwardly, the drone is of largely conventional configuration. The fuselage is slab-sided and houses all pertinent operating systems, including engine and fuel, as well as avionics and the optics set. The straight mainplanes are seated at the shoulder and the tail unit incorporates a single horizontal plane with three (two outboard, one centerline) ventral vertical surfaces. At the nose is featured a simple two-bladed propeller unit for propulsion.
Released details include an endurance window of up to 24 hours, reaching out to ranges of 620 miles, utilizing a conventional engine feeding from its onboard 12-liter fuel tank. The powerplant and general design arrangement allow the air vehicle to exceed speeds of 95 miles-per-hour and cruise at 75 mph. Dimensions of the drone include a 16-foot wingspan.
It is not yet known when the Foton-601 will be adopted into Russian military service (if ever) but the country's invasion of neighboring Ukraine has revealed a noticeable shortcoming of the Army when it comes to drone applications on the modern digital-centric battlefield.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓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.
✓Special-Mission: Search & Rescue (SAR)
Ability to locate and extract personnel from areas of potential harm or peril (i.e. downed airmen in the sea).
✓Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
✓X-Plane (Developmental, Prototype, Technology Demonstrator)
Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.
Aircraft inherently designed (or later developed) with an unmanned capability to cover a variety of over-battlefield roles.
Inherent ability of airframe to take considerable damage.
Can accelerate to higher speeds than average aircraft of its time.
EXTENDED RANGE PERFORMANCE
Capability to travel considerable distances through onboard fuel stores.
Design features ability to fly sans pilot, actions controlled onboard through programming and / or ground-based operator.
Design features autonomous flight operations made possible through onboard artificial intelligence or pre-programming.
Payload supports photographic equipment providing still and / or real-time image / video results.
16.4 ft (5.00 m)
128 lb (58 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base RKC Foton-601 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 base RKC Foton-601 production variant)
1 x Conventional engine of unknown make, model, and output power driving two-bladed propeller unit at the nose.
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 GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org (World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft), WDMMW.org (World Directory of Modern Military Warships), SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane, and MilitaryRibbons.info, cataloguing all American military medals and ribbons.