Antonov flight tests new UAV for Ukraine Army

Antonov has completed first flight of a new tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developed to equip Ukrainian armed forces.

Dubbed BPLA, the first prototype successfully completed first flight from the Hostomel Airport in Kyiv on November 8, performing a series of maneuvers in the air.

Powered by a piston engine in pusher configuration, the combat capable UAV can fly in all weather conditions, day and light to carry out armed intelligence and surveillance missions, with a range of 1050 km.

Weighing 200 kg, the UAV is 4.4 m long, 6.7 m wide and has a height of 1.5 m. It is equipped with fixed landing gear and a inverted V-tail.

BPLA can cruise at a speed of 150-180 kmph at an altitude of 1800-2400 m. The UAV can carry a 50 kg payload, including a electro-optic sensor turret for ISR missions and two air to ground missiles integrated on two under wing weapon stations.

Each tactical unmanned air system consist of four aircraft and a ground control station.

The UAV is also being showcased at the Dubai Air Show, being held from 12-16 November at Al Makhtoum Intl airport in Dubai.