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Videos on social platforms depict a Russian-converted civilian drone with a mounted Soviet-era anti-tank guided-missile (ATGM) launcher strapped to it and even show the anti-tank missile being launched from the drone while airborne and on the ground. Nevertheless, analysts are not certain that this is useful at all.

The ATGM missile weighs around 12.7 kg, and while the footage shows the entire launcher (codenamed AT-4 “Spigot”) including its canister and gas booster, the weapon system lacks its tripod mount. Some analysts explain that the 9S451 guidance box is still attached, thus adding significantly more weight. This appears to be a heavier payload compared to what most civilian drones that are used in war can carry.

According to Interesting Engineering, the drone is a Perun-F quadcopter called a “heavy assault quadcopter” that appears to be based on the Chinese EFT Z50 agricultural spraying drone. This drone has a maximum payload capacity of 50 kg, including its battery. The drone can hover for up to 7 minutes while carrying its maximum payload and up to 20 minutes when unloaded, it is controlled using a remote-control device with a 5.5-inch screen, and can be operated from a range of up to 3 km.

Furthermore, it seems this use of the “Bassoon” missile renders it unguided – it is usually guided semi-automatically by a human operator using a spool-out wire that remains connected during the missile’s flight, but in the videos the drone does not appear to have a person controlling it directly, so the missile is essentially an unguided rocket likely to hit only a very close target.

Experts claim that this would dramatically reduce the missile’s effectiveness at longer ranges. If no human guidance is possible, then the drone-ATGM setup may already be obsolete.

The role of this new drone is still unknown. It might be useful for relatively short-range “dumb” firing, but if the human-operator guidance systems on the ATGM are connected with that of the drone, the weapon could prove very useful for Russian soldiers.