Friday, November 25, 2022

Ukrainian troops shoot down Russia’s newest drone

The Armed Forces of Ukraine has shot down Russia’s newest surveillance drone called the Merlin-VR.

Pavel Kashchuk, founder of the automotive site and host of the eponymous YouTube channel, posted images showing the wreckage of Merlin-VR unmanned aircraft.

The Merlin-VR is considered to be a long-endurance unmanned system designed for intelligence gathering and support roles. Its most important feature is its hybrid propulsion system.


The drone can carry payloads up to 6.5 kg, has a ceiling of 5 km, and endurance of at least ten hours. It can be used for collecting intelligence data, targeting artillery, spotting bomb damage assessment, relaying communications, and conducting electronic warfare.

According to Russian state media, the new unmanned aircraft was developed by the Smolensk Research Institute of Modern Telecommunication Technologies.

The Merlin-VR drone was first unveiled in 2021 and there was no more information about it.

Image by Pavel Kashchuk

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Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.