“The newest drone” with a rocket launch: what kind of drone is it and is it really a “kamikaze”

In the “mysterious drone” we already had time to see the latest Ukrainian development, but the fact is that it is a fairly public RZ60 drone, which was developed several years ago

The other day, a rather interesting video with a test of a Ukrainian drone, which started thanks to a rocket booster, went viral on the Internet.

The video with the post was posted by an employee of the Faculty of Chemistry of KNU named after Shevchenko and head of NAURocket Serhiy Pipko, but later deleted the post. But already after it was actively disseminated by numerous mass media.

Moreover, the drone itself, which is launched by a rocket booster, is not secret. And the very essence of the message was that it was launched not by a massive catapult but by a rocket engine, which makes it possible to reduce the dimensions of the launcher and place it on the chassis of an ordinary light truck or even a pickup truck. And besides increasing mobility and reducing pre-start training.

As for the UAV itself, in which many began to consider a long-range kamikaze drone, we are talking about the Ukrainian RZ60 from a private company and the Kharkiv Aviation Institute. Its existence, moreover, even TTX are public. We should also note that the Russian Federation immediately recognized the RZ60 in the drone on the video. That is, there is no longer any mystery about it.


And we should note that the RZ60 had existed in a ready-made form since at least 2019 when it was offered to the ZSU in the form of a target for training air defense system calculations. This drone was successfully tested in this role and was destroyed by the S-300PT air defense system. But after that, the order for the RZ60, which could replace the obsolete BP-2 and BP-3 (converted into Tu-141 “Stryzh” and Tu-143 “Reis” UAV targets), did not work out. This was publicly announced by the developer himself in 2021 .

         RZ60 on tests
RZ60 on tests

Also publicly known are TTX, which are hosted by the technological hub “Kharkiv Regional Center of Industry 4.0”. According to them, the RZ60, which has a wingspan of 2.78 meters, develops a speed of up to 290 km/h, has a flight height of up to 6 km, can stay in the air for up to 60 minutes, has a tactical range of 40 km, and a practical range of 300 km.

Public TTX RZ60

There are versions with a jet engine and even with two jet engines. The most powerful version has a speed of up to 700 km/h, but the range and payload remain unchanged at 3 kg.

         Jet versions of the RZ60
Jet versions of the RZ60

At the same time, the RZ60 can in theory be converted into a kamikaze drone. In favor of this is the low price, which is an important condition for any target drone. And also the presence of a navigation system, which is also necessary to control this drone. But the combat capabilities of UAVs remain in question because they require significant refinement in view of the low useful weight, the possibility of increasing which may also depend on the aircraft’s center of mass.

But there is the confidence that these issues can be resolved, as well as, if necessary, increasing the flight range of UAVs.

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