Russia boasts of advanced military technological capabilities. But the country still relies on others for drone engines. According to reports, Moscow had sought Iran’s technical help in engines of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones. Now Russian defense giant Rostec claims to have developed the country’s first ever drone engine.

Russia Showcases Its First Ever Drone Engine

UIMC’s new drone engine is much cheaper

The United Instrument Manufacturing Corporation (UIMC), a unit of Rostec, said Tuesday during an Innovation Day exhibition in Kubinka that it had successfully built a drone engine. Moscow has not been involved in drone engine manufacturing until recently. Russia was buying foreign engines that were “not as good,” said UIMC. The production cost of Russia’s indigenous engine is just $7,700, much lower than $61,000 it used to pay for foreign drone engines, according to Sputnik News.

UIMC added that a 66-pound engine would allow drones to reach an altitude of up to 6,000 meters. And the quality and reliability of UIMC’s engine is higher than many of its foreign counterparts. Drones are being increasingly used in military and civilian applications. UIMC also showcased another innovation: a supercomputer to operate robots and drones.

Russia’s new supercomputer can operate ten drones

A spokesman for UIMC said the supercomputer was part of Vologda UAV control complex. It can operate up to 10 drones simultaneously to collect and transmit aerial reconnaissance data. The mobile supercomputer platform uses teraflop-level computing speeds to collect and process information. The supercomputer uses a special silicone-based composition for cooling.

Russia already has smart, laser-guided missiles that it is using against CIA-trained rebels in Syria. And Moscow continues to make progress in drone technology. Recently, Russian design bureau Luch put together a fully-functional 3D printed drone. Luch CEO Michael Shebakpolsky said the 3D printed UAV has already been checked for operability in test flights. Luch developed it in collaboration with Rostec.