During the MSPO 2015 event in Kielce, the Air Force Institute of Technology showcased the Jet-2 fast flying target drone, which made its maiden flight last year. This twin-engined drone acts as an imitator of the airborne threats for the anti-aircraft systems, primarily for the air defence component of the Polish Army. The unmanned target is used mainly for executing training for the operators of the Neva and Kub SAM systems. As it was declared by the representatives of the manufacturer, in the future the drone could be used throughout the training process regarding the crews that would operate the Wisła and Narew systems.
The Institute – recently – has also created a new testing station for small jet engines, to meet the needs of the project. Jet-2 drone received new, more reliable and powerful engines. Thus, the estimated performance of the new flying target has also been greatly improved. During the 2014 tests the drone reached the speed of 505 kilometres per hour. Now, the top speed is estimated at the level of 720 kilometres per hour. The ceiling that is achievable by the launched drone is contained within the range between 200 to 5000 meters. Maximum take-off weight is 110 kilograms.
Initially, the project was funded with the use of the Institute’s own assets, as a continuation of the project dating back to 1995, the aim of which was to look into the issue of the manoeuvring airborne targets. Further down the road, the new target was developed with the use of the budgetary funds, covered by:
- R00-O0055/3 research and development project, section 3, “Opracowanie, wykonanie i badania systemu imitatorów do strzelań rakietowych” [“Development, performance and research of an imitator systems for missile trainings”], realized within the period between 2007 and 2010, financed by the State Committee For Scientific Research
- Project No. 193838, the aim of which was to develop defence capabilities and security of the state, known under the name of „Odrzutowe cele powietrzne z programowalną trasą lotu” [“Jet-Powered Aerial Targets With A Programmable Flight Route”], financed by the National Centre for Research and Development, starting from 2012.
Jet-2 is one of a few jet-powered target drones developed in Europe. The manufacturer, once the test programme is finalized, also plans to gain the interest of the Polish Armed Forces in the manufactured imitators. Export sales are also being considered.