Hydra 400: the British Army’s future anti-tank drone?

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While the war in Ukraine has demonstrated the importance of small drones, it also confirms that heavier, more powerful drones must have their place on the battlefield. It is with this in mind that the British Army unveiled the prototype of its Hydra 400 drone, equipped with three Brimstone anti-tank missiles.

A new drone

He was one of the stars of this 2023 edition of the Defense and Security Equipment International (DSEI) show: the Hydra 400 drone. The latter was unveiled on the British Army stand (British Army). It comes in the form of an octocopter, light and easy to assemble, with for example folding arms, the presence of a titanium structure on which it is possible to mount several turbines depending on operational needs,… In terms of speed, the rear trunk of a Toyota Hilux is enough to carry the drone and the necessary equipment and in six minutes the Hydra 400 can be ready to take off. It also has hybrid propulsion, allowing a total lifting capacity of 400 kg (with 6 turbines):

  • eight electric motors (two on each arm)
  • from 2 to 8 turbines with a thrust of 50 kg (500 N) (three on each side of the drone), powered by a central 120 liter tank (A-1 fuel)

On the offensive level, it is designed with anti-tank use in mind, via the carriage of three Brimstone anti-tank missiles, fixed on a 14-inch rail to NATO standards. Compliance with NATO standards thus opens up the possibility of using other munitions that also respect these standards. As a reminder, this missile weighing 50 kg, 1.8 meters long and 18 cm in diameter can destroy any armored vehicle or tank within a radius of 20 kilometers. The image below represents an idea of ​​the expected concept of the Hydra 400: the latter is deployed from a Hilux (very mobile all-terrain vehicle). The drone operator is then informed by Ghost 4 reconnaissance drones in order to destroy an enemy tank with one of the three Brimstone carried.

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