Russia’s Grom stealth unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is advertised full of super unique features that surpass other types of UAVs. Will this be a weapon that resonates on the Ukrainian battlefield or just a project on paper?
The Russian company Kronstadt on the sidelines of the Army 2022 military exhibition said that it is accelerating work on the Grom stealth UAV so that it can soon be launched onto the Ukrainian battlefield.
A Kronstadt representative said “We have signed state contracts to develop the project, we are working actively and achieving many achievements, the results are expected to be announced soon,”
The first time a new generation stealth drone model named Grom (thunder) was displayed by the Kronstadt company at the Army 2020 Forum, it immediately attracted great media attention thanks to its very attractive shape.
According to the developer, the main purpose of the Grom UAV on the battlefield is to “clear the way” for the Su-57 and Su-35 fighters; Su-34 front-line bombers as well as S-70 Okhotnik attack drones…
With the above function, the stealthy Grom UAV will seek to provoke the enemy’s air defense systems and force them to reveal themselves, and then destroy the target with the powerful weapons it carries.
In addition, this UAV also comes with an auxiliary group of 10-12 Molniya small drones (also in development), which are launched from another vehicle, but direct control of them is still the same as the Grom UAV.
The Grom Stealth Drone is designed with 4 weapons to hang points. To service this UAV, the Corporation “Tactical Missile Weapons” developed air-to-ground missiles and prepared Izdelie 85 air-guided missiles and KAB-250 and KAB-500 guided bombs.
In addition, an improved version of the Grom UAV will be able to carry the Kh-38 air-to-surface guided missile, which is a modern weapon, expected to be equipped with the most advanced Russian fighter aircraft today.
The Grom drone will have the following characteristics: takeoff weight 7 tons, length 13.8 m, height 3.8 m, and wingspan of 10 m. Tonnage from 1.3 to 2 tons (according to various data). The maximum speed is up to 1,000 km/h, the cruise speed is 800 km/h. The flight range is 800 km, the actual ceiling is 12,000 m.
If the above tactical characteristics are confirmed, the Grom drone of the Kronstadt company is even more superior than the famous stealth UAV S-70 Okhotnik developed by the Sukhoi corporation in collaboration with Mikoyan. .
However, many domestic and international military experts are expressing concern that UAV Grom is a weapon project “on paper” when advertised very impressively but then could not be completed.
The precedents include the Su-57 fighter, the T-14 Armata tank, and the 2S35 Koalitsiya-SV self-propelled howitzer, which is still incomplete after a long time of launch, making few people believe that the Grom UAV will be complete in time to fight in Ukraine.
Not only that, according to many analysts, Russia’s Grom stealth drone is clearly a copy of the Kratos Corporation’s XQ-58A Valkyrie from the US with some improvements and modifications.
Currently, the Kronstadt company has not commented on the allegations of illegally copying the US XQ-58A Valkyrie. In addition, because this vehicle is only in the form of a display model, it is not clear what its actual combat capability is.