Tatarstan to produce analogue of Altair unmanned aerial vehicle

Three models of the unmanned aerial vehicles Bars-15, Letyaga, and Kuznechik, prepared for the start of production, were presented yesterday at a meeting of the board of directors of Tatneftekhiminvest Holding. The UAVs were developed by the Kazan company Sumus PLC with the support of the Centre for Molecular Economics of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tatarstan. It is planned that at the initial stage the air cluster will produce 300 UAVs, 2,000 UAVs will be released in 2023. By technical indicators, Bars-15 UAV is similar to Altair heavy UAV.

A new line of heavy and medium-class UAVs (with a load capacity from 15 kg to 1,000 kg) was presented by Vasily Shestyuk, the deputy head of the Centre for Circular Economy of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tatarstan. Bars-15 UAV, designed for the needs of the Russian Defence Ministry, was first shown at the Army 2022 International Forum, where it opened the flight programme. Another UAV — Kuznechik with a take-off weight from 50 to 1,000 kg — is designed for the needs of the Russian Post JSC. The lightest is Letyaga UAV weighing up to 3,5 kg (the customers were not named). According to Vasily Shestyuk, several pilot samples have been assembled at the moment, and Kuznechik UAV is currently being operated in experimental mode by Russian Post JSC. Four enterprises from several regions of the country are participating in the production cooperation for the assembly of UAVs — among them, there are neither Tatarstan plants of Rostec nor independent companies of the republic.

The air cluster is planned to be created on the territory of the Smart City in the Laishevsky district of the Republic of Tatarstan.

“At the zero stage, we agreed on the development of the project in Kazan. We agreed on a territory of 12 thousand square metres for the organisation of the production of about 300 vehicles a year," said Vasily Shestyuk.

In the future, a production site of 2,9 hectares will be deployed. The serial production of 2 thousand UAVs is discussed here.

In the first year, the production plan includes the release of 100 Bars-15, Kuznechik-50, and Kuznechik-300 UAVs, it followed from the presentation. The total volume of investments is estimated at 1,4 billion rubles, of which 250 million rubles were attracted in the form of a grant from the Republic of Tatarstan, Vasily Shestyuk clarified later in an interview with journalists.

The attraction of the main amount of investments is being discussed with federal development institutions, he added.

“We are discussing it at the federal level, twice we got into the protocol of showing Putin," said the deputy head of the Centre for Circular Economy of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tatarstan.

By technical characteristics, Bars-15 UAV is similar to Altair UAV, he later confirmed to Realnoe Vremya.

In August, it was reported that Tatarstan, together with the Russian Road Research Institute, would create a pilot zone for testing drones and highly automated vehicles (VATS) on the territory Alabuga SEZ.

Luiza Ignatyeva