The Drone Index: Agat Grif-100E
The open secret of the ongoing UAV revolution is any country–and anybody–can build and operate surveillance drones.
All it takes is know-how, a modicum of persistence, and serious R&D. It helps if the national armed forces already uses target drones. These are the very factors that allowed Iran to leapfrog ahead of its neighbors in UAV production.
Meanwhile, Belarus is taking matters into its own hands. Rather than shop for a Chinese or Russian UAV, a local OEM called Agat or OAO Agat Control Systems appears to be developing a family of them.
The Grif 100 is its largest so far and represents a benchmark in Eastern European and CIS unmanned drone engineering.
But it is what it is: A low altitude model best suited for ISR.
According to information published by Agat, the Grif 100 carries four different payloads depending on its mission.
These are an electro-optical imaging sensor, on-board Radiation Control Equipment (ORCE) for “operational air radiation reconnaissance,” and separate jamming modules for either radio-navigation or satellite communication equipment.
The Grif 100 is not designed for strike missions.
Two Grif 100’s can be flown simultaneously from a mobile ground control station (GCS). Based on photographs published by Agat, the Grif 100 complex is transported by two 6×6 MAZ trucks. One carries a knocked down UAV and another serves as the GCS.
It’s likely the Grif 100 is a recent model and a small one at that. The Grif 100’s wingspan is 15.7 feet. From nose to tail its length is 11.5 ft. Agat maintains a limited UAV product line and aside from the Grif it also manufactures the Berkut 1E and 2E, both are portable short range UAVs. The Berkut 1E is a hand-launched model while the Berkut 2E is launched via catapult.
The Grif 100’s performance characteristics are modest. It can remain airborne for five hours. Maximum speed is 140 km/h while its range is 100 kilometers. Its ceiling is between 9,000 to 10,000 feet or less than half of a larger MALE UAV.
As a propeller-driven twin boom design with non-retractile landing gear, the Grif 100 probably uses a small 45 to 50 horsepower engine.
To meet government budget requirements, Agat are trying to find ways to cut down on the Grif 100’s unit cost. Judging by its limited press coverage, the Agat might enter production this year and be exported soon.