Military Knowledge: Ababil-2 Reconnaissance and Suicide Drone

Monday 30 May 2022 - 08:53

The Ababil-2 drone is a target, reconnaissance and suicide drone. Ababil-2, which was initially produced with a reconnaissance and target mission, was later defined as a suicide drone and is now at the disposal of the Iranian Armed Forces with this mission.

The Ababil series started operating in 1987. Ababil-1 was also used as a suicide drone during the Iraq-Iran war in 80s. Ababil-2 has been in mass production since 1991 by Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industries (HESA) And since then entered the service of the Iranian Armed Forces.

The Ababil-2 drone does not need a runway to land and take off. The Ababil can be launched from a zero-length jet-assisted take-off platform or by a pneumatic catapult launcher with the help of a rocket attached to the end of the UAV. For landing and recovery, a parachute or skids can be used for conventional landings on a runway or field.

This drone with a high operating rate is a potential threat to a variety of enemy equipment from tanks, personnel and defense systems on the battlefield.

Ababil-2 has an operating range of 100 km, a flight duration of 75 to 120 minutes, a flight ceiling of 11,000 feet (3352.8 m) and a maximum cruising speed of 220 km/h and 370 km/h in dive mode.

Guidance and control of Ababil-2 is done by the ground control center. In this case, the images are transmitted online to the control and command center. The newer Ababil-2 models are equipped with 123 system (automatic stabilizer) and GPS.
“123 System” is a new project in the electro avionics engineering department of HESA. This system provides features such as easy flight with more safety by non-professional pilots (in long and short range), automatic take-off and semi-automatic landing, planning and guidance on a desired route with the help of global navigation system, the possibility of disconnecting the control center from the drone and automatic operation of the drone, sending information from the UAV to control center in 17 separate channels, including information on engine speed, ascend and rotation angles, fuel quantity, battery voltage, altitude, and travel speed for Ababil-2.

Ababil-2 uses a cheap camera with 12 megapixel image quality.

Ababil-2 is responsible for tasks such as reconnaissance, battlefield surveillance, border patrol, aerial photography, artillery firing correction, as bait to luring air defenses, carrying out suicide missions and training drone personnel.

Two Ababil-2 models have been observed to date that also have different engines. The difference in appearance of these models is in the tail, the first model has a vertical tail attached to the main body and the second model has two identical vertical tails on the rear wing.

Ababil-2 specifications:
Length: 2.88 m
Wingspan(rear): 3.25 m
Height: 0.91 m
Empty weight: ~ 27 kg
Maximum take-off weight: 83-128 kg
Payload: 40 kg of cargo or explosives
Internal fuel capacity: 16 liters
Engine: W3 or MD series with 20-30 hp
Maximum speed: 370 km/h
Cruise speed: 250 km/h
Combat range: 120 km
Endurance: 75-120 minutes
Service ceiling: 3352.8 m
Origin: Iran

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“Ababil-2 Drone” collection of posters in Arabic, Persian, Kurdish, Russian, Chinese, Azeri and Hebrew for social media:

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