Kronstadt begins building the Grom combat drone

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Kronstadt begins building the Grom combat drone
Russian drone developer Kronstadt announced at Army 2022 that it had begun work on preliminary designs for the Grom combat drone (UCAV) under a state contract. However, the target for the first flight of the prototype drone was not explained.

The Grom, which means Thunder is the second type of loyal wingman aircraft developed by Russia after the Sukhoi S-70 Okhotnik-B ( Hunter ). The Grom is characterized by a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 7 tons, a length of 13.8 m, a height of 3.8 m, and a wingspan of 10 m.

Its flight speed is about 1,000 km/hour with a maximum altitude of up to 12,000 m. Its combat radius is 700-800 km, with a payload of 2,000 kg.

The Grom can carry armaments, including smart bombs and air-to-ground missiles such as the KAB-500, MAM-L, KAB-250-LG-E, and Izdelie 85. The Grom is capable of conducting intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), attack, and electronic warfare missions, operating alone or in networked autonomous swarms.

Grom can also act as a loyal wingman working with manned aircraft, either fighter jets or air command and control (AWE&C) aircraft. In a combat mission, the Grom will operate with Su-35 fighter jets and Su-57 stealth jets to break through enemy air defence systems and destroy them.

In addition to his combat capabilities, Grom can also control a swarm of 10 Molniya mini combat drones that the company is also developing.

Molniya drones will continue to communicate with each other and the controller drone. There is a constant exchange of data between drones.

It is also possible to change the mission of each drone in the group, replacing each other.

Artificial intelligence (AI) allows drones to fulfil missions in groups without constant communication with command-and-control aircraft.

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