Special Operations: Sharper Eyes For Spetsnaz


August 19, 2012:  Russia has been trying to catch up in the UAV department for nearly a decade. Some progress is being made. In the last year they have been issuing small UAVs to their special operations forces (Spetsnaz).

The Lastochka is a 4.2 kg (9.2 pound) tailless UAV with a 1.6 meter (five foot) wing span. A catapult is used for launch and a parachute for landing. Endurance is two hours and the one kg (2.2 pound) payload can include a day or night-vision camera. The UAV can operate up to 50 kilometers from the ground station. While requiring a vehicle (something as small as a jeep will do), the Lastochka is quite capable for scouting. Not as portable as Western equivalents, Lastochka shows the Russians are now players in this field.


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