The German defense concern Rheinmetall presented the concept of a mid-range class UAV that acts as a light strike UAV carrier. It seems that this is a kind of rethinking of the experience of using drones in the current Russian-Ukrainian war.
The carrier is a mid-range class reconnaissance UAV LUNA NG, which carries two strike quadcopters in the cargo compartment. After identifying and capturing the targets, the quadcopters are separated from the carrier and inflict damage on individual targets in automatic mode.
Nothing is known about the specifications of the strike drones, including the weight of the warhead, but judging by the video (Rheinmetall forbid its sharing so you can watch it on YouTube) it uses a standard RKG-3 type anti-tank grenade or an anti-personnel mine.
But a little more is known about the carrier, i.e. LUNA NG. This is a medium-range reconnaissance UAV (up to 100 km), which should replace the previous Luna X-2000 model in the Bundeswehr, which has been used by the German military since 2000.
LUNA NG is made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic, launched from a catapult, can stay in the air for up to 12 hours and operate at a range of up to 100 km. LUNA NG has an extremely low acoustic, thermal and radar signature. A UAV version with a synthesized aperture radar was tested.
An interesting concept from Rheinmetall. We are sure that the Armed Forces of Ukraine can test this system in real combat conditions.
LUNA NG UAV specifications
Length – 2.28 m
Wingspan – 4.17 m
Engine – gasoline, 5 kW
Launch – catapult
Landing – grid
Endurance – up to 12 hours
Range – up to 100 km
Ceiling – 5,000 m