Russian state-owned arms manufacturer Almaz-Antey has made the world’s first flying rifle, a low-cost drone that carries a Kalashnikov and can follow its target until it is dead. Watch it in action here:
The 23-kilogram drone has a three-meter wingspan, carrying a 12-caliber Vepr 12 semi-automatic shotgun designed after the infamous Kalashnikov rifle. The drone doesn’t require a runaway or catapult to operate, as it launches and lands vertically.
Its engineers — the Moscow Aviation Institute — claim that the weapon can target and fire moving objects while “maintaining full control” of the flight, which can last up to 40 minutes thanks to its electric battery. “If the target is not hit,” the Institute says, “it can continue moving behind the object without further adjusting its course.”
That’s not an easy task, as the Vepr 12 Hammer is a powerful weapon that can move a lot while firing from its 10-round, box-type magazine in automatic mode. But the institute claims that its engineers managed to develop a stabilization and damping mechanism that makes sure the drone stays steady while firing.
According to the head of the institute’s Special Design Bureau Igor Trifonov, they achieved Almaz-Antev’s objectives: “the development went through a full cycle of tests, including the assessment of controllability and accuracy of shooting, and then we transferred it to the customer.”
In theory, this device has been created to fire at moving flying targets like rogue drones. But of course, if it can accurately fire at flying objects, it could be easily used to fire at human targets on the ground.
Clearly, in addition to undefeatable weapons of mass destruction like their hypersonic nuclear missile, the Russians are coming up with some really innovative, low-cost ways to kill. Last February, Kalashnikov announced the KUB-BLA suicide drone.