Unmanned

For Belarus, two rockets on a drone are better than one

Sometimes two barrels are better than one.

When it comes to hunting tanks or other armored vehicles from the sky, a second anti-tank round could be the difference between an enemy destroyed or an enemy merely deterred.

A new drone by Belarus mounts a pair of rocket-launching tubes on a massive quadcopter, creating quite the tank-hunting robot. Its name, seemingly ripped straight from the draft notes of an Xtreme ’90s comic, is “Quadro-1400.”

“Belarus inherited the third-largest military-industrial sector following the collapse of Soviet union — after Russian and Ukrainian,” said Samuel Bendett, an adviser at the Center for Naval Analyses. “In the past decade, Belarus invested in its factories and design bureaus, in the hope of exporting their mil tech to willing customers — including Russia.”

Innovating around drones is part of that. The Quadro-1400 is made by the Display Design Bureau, a Belarusian leader in small drones for the military.

Notably, it builds on earlier anti-tank drone designs, like the quadcopter rocket-launcher that used the launch tube as a frame for mounting rotors and controls. Besides adding a second barrel, the new design puts the weapons on a swivel, allowing the drone to stay relatively on target after firing.

For militaries looking to gain an advantage over heavy armored vehicles, the ability to fly an anti-tank drone is likely an attractive proposition. For militaries that might drive armored vehicles, the prospect of small drones in the sky is just one of a growing number of threats to navigate.

The Quadro 1400 can be seen in action against wooden targets below:

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