Russia’s largest defense contractor has invented an assault rifle drone capable of flying and shooting at the same time.
The state-owned Almaz-Antey company filed a patent for the armed drone with the Federal Service for Intellectual Property in 2018. Described as “a fully functioning [gun] inside a set of wings,” the 23-kilogram drone is capable of flying for 40 minutes and staying aloft while shooting.
“Our task was to lift a device with a weapon into the sky and provide maximum stability of its performance and high accuracy of striking the target,” said its designer, the Moscow Aviation Institute.
According to the institute, the drone is equipped with an autoloading Kalashnikov rifle with a 10-round, box-type magazine.
The drone rifle can continue tracking a target that it misses the first time around without the need to manually adjust its flight path, the aviation institute said.
Video footage shows the drone taking off and flying for several minutes before landing. Another video shows a shooter picking up the airframe and firing a few rounds.
Media outlets have expressed doubts that the Kalashnikov drone will be able to “shoot people in what would essentially be a flying drive-by,” saying it will likely function as a “crazy-looking distraction.”
Others have described the invention as a “terrifying vision of the future of warfare.”
Meanwhile, Kalashnikov unveiled a suicide drone last month and is still working on its steel-frame “flying car.”