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A heavy turbojet is under development by Russian designers will be able to fly at least twice as fast as its propeller-driven analogues, said a source in the defense-industrial complex.
The preliminary contract to design the new-generation was granted to the Simonov Design Bureau (SDB) in Kazan. The SDB is currently working on the Altair heavy developed as part of the Altius Project. It is a medium-altitude craft with an extended flight range of up to 48 hours. The will have a takeoff weight of around 5 tons and a maximum speed of up to 950 kilometers an hour, according to sputniknews.com.
“Even though this is only a preliminary project we are talking about, with sufficient financing the designers would be able to land an additional contract to bring their work up to a new level,” Denis Fedutinov, a leading expert in the field of unmanned aerial vehicles, told RIA.
He added that while the Altair brings to mind the US-made Reaper, the new could be compared with the Avenger unmanned combat air vehicle built by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems for the US military.