Ukraine's Sleek New Jet-Powered Attack Drone Seen For First Time

Ukraine's Sleek New Jet-Powered Attack Drone Seen For First Time

Flag Ukraine A new type of Ukrainian long range drone has appeared in Russia. A crashed example of the jet powered drone was shared on Russian social media. It is evidently a type of one-way attack drone (OWA-UAV).

It is likely that the type has been in service for some time, simply that this is the first reported example. The drone is interesting in several ways.

The vehicle has a clean delta configuration with a single vertical tail. It is similar in size to other OWA-UAVs. My provisional estimate is that it is 3 meters (10 feet) long and has a wingspan of 2.5 meters (8 feet). The wings appear to be detachable for transport and storage.

Original artwork. CLICK to Enlarge.

It is powered by a single German-made JetCat P400-PRO commercial micro turbojet. This engine manufacturer is one of several known for their quality. The jet engine is a mounted in the aft fuselage under the vertical tail with the inlet in the belly.

It has a passing resemblance to the British-built Banshee target drone, but does not match in detail. It is distinct from it and evidently not the Jackdaw OWA-UAV which Qinetiq has proposed based on the Banshee. It is therefore likely a wholly Ukrainian design. The manufacturer is not publicly known however.

Ukraine's New Jet-Powered Attack Drone
Photographs shared online of the wreck. Note that the lower fuselage is upside down, the intake is on the bottom.

This appears to be typical of what I view as a second generation of Ukrainian OWA-UAVs. The first generation was built on the mantra “something is better than nothing”. They were often adapted from target drones or other UAV projects. The second generation incorporates learnings and is better optimized for mass production and field operations. They are also more capable, and often carry larger warheads.

Ukraine's New Jet-Powered Attack Drone
The warhead (left) appears to be the same as has been observed on the UJ-26 Beaver propeller-powered OWA-UAV (right). Commonality of warheads across multiple drone types is not unexpected.

In general jet-powered OWA-UAVs have much greater speed than propeller ones but often sacrifice range, unless built larger. They are also generally really more expensive, although Ukraine is likely paying much less than the USD 1.4million price tag of the Iranian jet-powered Shahed-237. Ukraine has need of all types and benefits from the diversity of its attacks.

Ukraine's New Jet-Powered Attack Drone
German-made JetCat P400-PRO commercial micro turbojet


A second example reported on Feb 9 2024:
Ukraine's New Jet-Powered Attack Drone

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