Forbes: Russian shock "Thunder" was a copy of the American "Valkyrie"


The Russian military-industrial complex is developing a new attack drone "Thunder", which can act as a slave. Its scale model was presented at the Army 2020 forum, writes the American magazine Forbes.


The concept of a slave drone has emerged relatively recently. Its idea is that an autonomous drone with artificial intelligence can make independent decisions and have similar capabilities to manned aircraft. If this can be achieved, they can be used in battle together with fighters and bombers. Moreover, most of the time such drones will operate independently, so they should be cheap and multifunctional.

What results the specialists of the Russian firm "Kronstadt" were able to achieve is not yet clear. But the Thunder's silhouette, V-shaped tail, 10-meter wingspan and air intakes indicate that it is a replica of two slave drones - the American XQ-58 Valkyrie and the European Albatross from EADS.


At the same time, it is known that each "Valkyrie" costs the American taxpayers $ 2 million. In the US Air Force they are called "consumables". This indicates that even the loss of a large number of such UAVs in battle is acceptable to the military.

According to expert Samuel Bendetta from Washington, the Ministry of Defense has not yet disclosed its plans for the "Thunder". Therefore, even the shape of the drone may change over time, because what tasks it will perform is still unknown, and the necessary tests have not been carried out. Now we have just a concept, and the appearance of "Thunder" may be different in the final version.


He stressed that it is also not clear which aircraft Moscow plans to use in conjunction with the Grom or other similar Russian drones. Bendett explained that work on AI-powered slave platforms in the United States is progressing quickly and efficiently. But he doesn't know how far the Russians have progressed in their designs.

The expert suggested that the Russians may have created the necessary software, but so far they have not disclosed the details. He is confident that more information on this topic will be available in the coming years.
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  1. 123 Online
    123 (123) 2 September 2020 10: 34
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    Samuel Bendett
    military expert... Analyst member of the Russian Studies Program at the International Center for Military Analytics (Naval Analyzes' International Affairs Group). Since 2017, Fellow of the American Council on Foreign Policy. Studying Russian defense, security technology, Russian geopolitical influence on post-Soviet countries, and Russia's political strategies during military crises.
    Education specialist in law and diplomacy... Fluent in Russian.

    And such a human does not know the Kremlin's plans for Thunder?

    Will change shape over time

    - and will interfere in American elections and carry out cyber attacks on McDonald's. This expert is broken, carry the next one.
  2. Sergey Tokarev (Sergey Tokarev) 2 September 2020 11: 10
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    And this "expert", by chance, does not think that Henry Ford peeped wheels for his car from the war chariots of the ancient ukrov? They will pick up "Ukrainians" according to the ad, and then write "sensations".
  3. Vladimir Tuzakov (Vladimir Tuzakov) 2 September 2020 11: 30
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    The long-awaited shock UAVs, albeit in mock-ups, are beginning to emerge. Only the timing of the introduction of new products is somehow prohibitive, not for years, but for decades, - either there is no strength left, or the cuts are tightening ... It seems that a transition has begun from slow propeller-driven UAVs to faster replacement aircraft, which is expected. Tasks are already assigned for UAVs, for high-speed shock and loitering ... But for heavy loitering (especially one-time), there is no breakthrough yet ...
    1. shinobi Offline
      shinobi (Yuri) 3 September 2020 05: 36
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      At this stage, there is no clear understanding of how to use autonomous drones in real conflicts. Hitting a single target from a radio-controlled car is one thing (it is desirable that the target does not resist yet), quite another - when a crowd of robots is cut with the same crowd. There is no complete concept of such drones themselves. What should be in them and what is superfluous. There is no need to rush. Again, the "theory of the machine apocalypse" is not just a Hollywood horror story.
      1. Vladimir Tuzakov (Vladimir Tuzakov) 3 September 2020 09: 54
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        Haste in the development of new weapons is always necessary, another issue in mass production, here you are right, you need to weigh very much. It's not for nothing that the era is called the arms race, who first created, won ... As for the battles of robots, you still have to live to see that ...
  4. shinobi Offline
    shinobi (Yuri) 3 September 2020 05: 22
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    Yes, copied! Aha! How is it. And the fact that such drones were built in the USSR is kind of unreasonable. When the Yankees hadn't even scratched their heads about this. Well, the "country gas station" cannot bypass the "chosen country". Ours also itch for a long time. It is not such a difficult task to adapt the Tupolev scouts to shock troops. They don't work from scratch. This grief expert, it seems that he heard about AI yesterday. Combat AIs differ from game ones with the same tasks only in the degree of protection against hacking and control real hardware, not a digital avatar.
    1. Monster_Fat Offline
      Monster_Fat (What's the difference) 3 September 2020 09: 13
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      Russia is only capable of assembling small company-level drones from Chinese components. Well, and "cut with a file", again from foreign components, a couple of larger ones for various exhibitions and presentations, so that there is something to present to the public in terms of "we can also" and potential customers to squeeze out funding. As soon as funding is received - that's it, then you can endlessly modernize the presented sample, without any prospects for its serial construction, build models, draw cartoons, etc. As for real drones for the army, they will be purchased (and are now being purchased) from Israel and China.
      1. shinobi Offline
        shinobi (Yuri) 3 September 2020 11: 26
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        A link to the studio, for purchases. And from the official state site, not the yellow press. And I very much doubt that you will give it. And so, my dear, you are just plainly lying. As well as about the fact that nothing is being done. People who are in the subject gave a subscription. Gostayna, have you heard of such a term? And those who flutter their tongues in the tabloid media are the same as you, gossips, who do not know anything, but with excessive PSV.
        1. Natan bruk Offline
          Natan bruk (Natan Bruk) 3 September 2020 13: 26
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          Do you really not know that the main Russian drones - "Forpost" and "Zastava" - are licensed copies of Israeli drones of the last generation. The only thing is that now their production is mostly localized, but this is about the same as with the Zhigul - Kopeyka - at first they were made from Italian components, then they went their own. But from this "Zhigul" did not become its original development.
          1. shinobi Offline
            shinobi (Yuri) 3 September 2020 14: 04
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            Yes? If we proceed from your logic, then the USSR / Russia has nothing of its own at all. The first Soviet tank was a copy of the French Renault, the first ballistic missile was a copy of the V-2. UAZ from the army Willis, and the faustpatron is the grandfather of the RPG-7. Why, when China or Turkey copy (tell the truth, openly steal) all praise them - Well done, that's right. Should Russia do it, immediately - Shame! How dare she! Etc. What is the logic of such reasoning? Or is everything that Russia does automatically, badly, by default, because this is what the West says and orders to think?
            1. Natan bruk Offline
              Natan bruk (Natan Bruk) 3 September 2020 15: 29
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              Why good fellows? The same thieves. Although in the case of drones and Zhiguli everything is completely legal - they bought a license from Israel, and FIAT built a VAZ. It's just that it's all not yours, but bought or stolen.
  5. Herman 4223 Offline
    Herman 4223 (Alexander) 3 September 2020 10: 04
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    Forget it who wanted a light fighter. These platforms will completely replace them, Thunder - light fighter, Hunter - front-line bomber.
    1. shinobi Offline
      shinobi (Yuri) 3 September 2020 11: 28
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      And what did the Yak -130 not please?
      1. Herman 4223 Offline
        Herman 4223 (Alexander) 3 September 2020 12: 38
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        This is a training machine, it will always have its own niche.
        Thunder will be cheaper than a light fighter and will not require a pilot.
        1. shinobi Offline
          shinobi (Yuri) 3 September 2020 14: 17
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          Well, offhand so. Both L-39 and Yak-130 are still combat training. With minimal configuration changes, it turns into a lightweight multi-purpose striker. I doubt that Thunder will be cheaper, but time will tell. May be.
        2. Bitter Offline
          Bitter (Gleb) 6 September 2020 18: 13
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          ... cheaper than a light fighter and a pilot will not be required.

          Does it mean that any student can control it with a TV remote control? The pilot is not on board the aircraft, and so, probably, he is still there.
  6. Dmitry S. Offline
    Dmitry S. (Dmitry Sanin) 4 September 2020 04: 46
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    Weapons in general, it seems, are in all countries - why doesn't Forbes write about this?
  7. Sergey A_2 Offline
    Sergey A_2 (Siberian Yuzhanin) 4 September 2020 07: 40
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    And what's the difference what the wrapper looks like, the main thing is the filling.