Vietnam Builds UAS Factory

Russian UAV manufacturer Irkut is helping Vietnam design and build a new, 100 kg (220 pound) UAV for civilian (and later military) use. This UAV will probably be a smaller version of the Irkut 200, which is itself still in development. The Irkut 200 is a 200 kg (440 pound) aircraft with a 50 kg (110 pound) payload and 12 hours endurance. The radio link can control the UAV up to 200 kilometers from the operator. Cruising speed is 140 kilometers an hour. The 200 can fly up to 5,000 meters (15,500 feet) but it normally operates at 500 meters (1,550 feet). The Irkut 200 has a wingspan of 5.34 meters (16.5 feet) and is 4.53 meters (14 feet long). It lands and takes off like an aircraft and can do so on 250 meters (775 feet) of straight road.

The technology transfer and assistance deal will cost Vietnam $10 million. Irkut already has a similar deal with Belarus, where the Irkut 10 (an 8.5 kg/18.7 pound) is built.