Russia’s Kartsev Institute of Computing has announced it will begin production of a new drone designed to disperse crowds next year, state news agency TASS reported on Tuesday.
The Shershen, or hornet, is a hexacopter drone that functions in much the same way as a more typical quadcopter drone, though it uses both ultrasound and infrasound to disperse crowds, and is designed for use in a domestic security context.
The move could signal increasing concern among the country's elite that civil unrest might break out as frustration grows over Russia's international isolation and punishing Western sanctions over the war in Ukraine.
"We are planning to enter serial production of the Shershen after the New Year. From mid-December to January, we will already be able to show the hexacopter in action," Vitaly Dolgov, the head of the Research Institute’s research laboratory for unmanned vehicles, told TASS.
The Shershen is also battlefield capable and comes equipped with radar jamming technology as well as a camera for intelligence gathering.
The roll-out comes amid the effective use of drones by both sides in the ongoing war in Ukraine, which has been increasingly shaped by unarmed aerial vehicles.
Earlier this month, Iran admitted to providing Russia with a “small number" of Shahed-136 drones, which Kyiv claims have been used to target its energy infrastructure.
As well as scores of commercial drones, Russian forces have been using the domestically manufactured Forpost and the Inokhodets strike drones in the 9-month-long conflict.