Ukraine's new jet-powered attack drone, equipped with a German P400-PRO jet engine, was discovered when it was recently shot down by Russian air defenses.
The Russian occupiers reported the downing of one of these advanced drones by their anti-aircraft defense. The wreckage of the jet-powered attack drone, featuring a "flying wing" design reminiscent of the Iranian Shahed-136 barrage munition, was photographed and shared on social media by Russian forces.
The drone is constructed with a combination of molded fiberglass, wood ribs, a carbon frame, and cellophane. The combat part of the drone is equipped with shrapnel for a more devastating impact. It is powered by a German JetCat P400-PRO engine that boasts a thrust of 43 kg (425 N) and a fuel consumption of 1.4 liters per minute at full load. The jet engine is a mounted in the aft fuselage under the vertical tail with the inlet in the belly.
Measuring an estimated 3 meters (10 feet) in length and sporting a 2.5-meter (8 feet) wingspan, the drone's wings are designed to be detachable for convenient transport and storage.
Notably, each element of the airframe and motor is labeled with identical numbers, and it was revealed that several components are readily available for purchase through online stores.
Equipped with a one-way attack (OWA) capability and guided by a satellite navigation system, this drone aligns with Ukraine's broader strategy, as announced by the Minister of Strategy and Industry, Oleksandr Kamyshin.
The Ukrainian government official had mentioned, "We have more than five analogues of Shahed-131, which are produced in series. And there is one type - an analogue of 'Shakhed-136'."
Distinctive features such as the sleek delta configuration, a single vertical tail, and detachable wings further differentiate this drone, marking it as a likely wholly Ukrainian creation.
While it bears a passing resemblance to the British-built Banshee target drone, detailed examination reveals significant differences, ruling out any connection to the Jackdaw OWA-UAV proposed by Qinetiq based on the Banshee.
Despite the manufacturer remaining undisclosed, the unique design and capabilities suggest an indigenous Ukrainian origin.