Russsian defense contractor, Almaz-Antey, was recently awarded a patent for their shotgun-wielding drone. Almaz-Antey is a big player in the Russian arms industry. They are responsible for producing, among many armaments, some of the world’s most advanced surface-to-air missile systems.
The fixed-wing craft sports a Vepr-12 shotgun along with a 10-round magazine. It weighs 50 pounds (22.6 kg) and has a flight time of 40 minutes. Development of the drone began in 2016 and the craft is controlled by a visor-wearing operator who monitors the drone’s video link as well as sighting system.
Affixing a shotgun rather than a machinegun to the front of the drone was deliberate. Shotgun bullets disperse into tiny pellets making them more effective at hitting moving targets and therefore better for the presumed eventual purpose of shooting people.
The craft takes off and lands vertically from its tail (as seen in the cover image) but levels out and flies horizontally once it’s in the air. This takeoff method means the drone does not require minimal space to be deployed.
The three and a half minute video uploaded to YouTube (below) shows the extremely noisy drone zooming through the skies and blasting targets such as balloons out of the air. From what observe, the unnamed drone does not appear to experience much recoil as it shoots.