MiG and Sukhoi to join forces on Russian UCAV

Moscow
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RSK MiG will work together with Sukhoi on a future unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV), using experience gained on its Skat programme.

The Skat design was demonstrated to a small group of Russian media at the MAKS air show in Moscow in 2007, and until recently was thought to have been shelved.

Newly appointed MiG general director Sergey Korotkov said at a recent media briefing that the two companies would collaborate in the future.

Vladimir Barkovsky, chief of MiG's engineering centre, said he cannot foresee whether a next-generation MiG would be a manned or unmanned aircraft.

mig skat uav, wikimedia commons
 © Wikimedia Commons

"This depends on maturity of technologies available to us when the decision is made to launch [a new programme]," he said.

The Skat programme has given the airframer invaluable experience in the UCAV sector, Barkovsky added.

"This helped us create a technology base for the next phase of our studies, which we continue to carry out," he added.

Extensive wind tunnel testing on various Skat configurations was performed at Russia's Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute, TsAGI, during which MiG tried to find an optimal balance between size for a specified payload and combat efficiency.