A First Look At MiG Skat UCAV

MiG today revealed a full-scale engineering mock-up of its unmanned combat air vehicle ("en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UCAV";) design, nicknamed Skat (Skate). Work on the low-observable design began over two years ago, and MiG will produce a flight worthy prototype within 24-months.

The MiG program is one of two competing designs that will be presented to the "en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Ministry_of_Defence"; as a strike UCAV. "en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sukhoi"; is also understood to be working on a UCAV.

MiG unveiled the program during the Moscow air show, though only a few journalists were taken off the show site to a MiG facility at the Gromov flight test research institute.

Skat has two internal weapons bays, capable of carrying air-to-surface missiles as large as the "en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kh-31"; (AS-17 Krytpon). Possible roles include the suppression and attack of enemy air defenses.

MiG is working with a number of Russian companies and state institutes - including the 2nd Central Scientific Research Institute - on Skat. The institute is known to be closely involved in low-observable research and development.

The first version of Skat to fly is planned to be piloted in order to meet Russian flight regulations. A number of aerodynamic configurations have been wind-tunnel tested, including with small twin fins. MiG has settled on a tail-less configuration.

The single-engine subsonic design has an 11.5 meter wingspan, and it is 10.25 meters long. The UCAV has a maximum take-off weight of 10 tons, with a maximum speed of 800 kilometers per hour (497 mph) at low altitude. It is intended to carry a combat load of up to two tons, with a combat radius of 2,000 km.

The Skat will be powered by the "www.klimov.ru/"; RD-5000B, a derivative of the RD-93. Two demonstrators will be built, the second will be unmanned. The flight tests will be used to prove the design and air vehicle systems. Weapon firings will also be carried out.

By Alexey Komarov and Douglas Barrie/Moscow