Russia Allegedly Develops ‘Hibernating’ Drones That Can ‘Sleep’ for Weeks Before Attacking

Photo Credit: SERGEI SUPINSKY / AFP / Getty Images
Photo Credit: SERGEI SUPINSKY / AFP / Getty Images

After two years of working alongside the Russian Ministry of Defence, a tech firm has reportedly developed a drone – known as the “Joker FPV” – that can “hibernate” for up to a few weeks before launching strikes against targets. Word of this new weapon was shared via the Russian news agency TASS.

Photographer taking a picture of Orlan-10, Granat-3, HESA Shahed-136 and Eleron-3 drones
Russian drones – Orlan-10, Granat-3, HESA Shahed-136 and Eleron-3 – used against Ukraine during the Russo-Ukrainian War, 2022. (Photo Credit: STR / NurPhoto / Getty Images)

The Joker FPV was developed by the Center of Comprehensive Unmanned Solutions, led by CEO Dmitry Kuzaykin. The firm began working with the Russian Ministry of Defence in spring 2021, with the first results regarding the drone’s capabilities gathered the following year.

Speaking with TASS in May 2023, Kuzaykin said, “We analyzed foreign experience, the enemy’s experience, rethought it, added our own solutions and, based on sports drones, made a multipurpose family of Joker drones that today accomplishes all the objectives that our fighters face.

“The family’s drones only differ by the weight of their payload while remaining multipurpose vehicles,” he continued. “There is no need to remake or reconfigure this multipurpose drone, changing its suspension or add equipment. It is ready to accomplish any missions without interference in its design.”

Inokhodets-RU on display
Inokhodets-RU at the Russian Military Hardware at Army 2021 Expo. (Photo Credit: Andrey Rudakov / Bloomberg / Getty Images)

Equipped with a standardized platform for attaching munitions, the Joker FPV can perform several roles, including as a strike and bomber UAV, fire adjustment, reconnaissance, kamikaze strikes and mine-laying. “They have the same settings, irrespective of their type or specialization,” Kuzaykin explained. “And these settings are harmonized with the ground equipment of combat FPV drones.”

The Joker FPV was developed through an idea borrowed “from foreign-made combat drones,” which Kuzaykin claims the Center of Comprehensive Unmanned Solutions “profoundly re-made” and “strongly simplified.” He added that they “ensured the structural integration of the drone’s payload. This enables it to fit into any mission carried out by a combat team: the Joker can perform any role like it’s playing card counterpart.”

Kronshtadt Orion on display
Kronshtadt Orion at the International Military-Technical Forum ARMY 2018 Expo. (Photo Credit: Andrey Rudakov / Bloomberg / Getty Images)

In a recent interview with TASS, Kuzaykin explained that the tech firm has since developed a new hibernation tool, which will allow the drones to “sleep” for up to several weeks after being placed in an attack position. This will allegedly allow operators to minimize the time spent preparing the Joker FPV to attack.

“Flying time is saved,” he explained. “A few seconds pass between turning on the drone and attacking, which leaves no chance of launching countermeasure systems.” TASS also claims that a single operator can “wake up” 15 sleeping drones.

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At present, the Center for Comprehensive Unmanned Solutions plans to continue to expand the functionality of the Joker FPV.

Clare Fitzgerald

Clare Fitzgerald is a Writer and Editor with eight years of experience in the online content sphere. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from King’s University College at Western University, her portfolio includes coverage of digital media, current affairs, history and true crime.

Among her accomplishments are being the Founder of the true crime blog, Stories of the Unsolved, which garners between 400,000 and 500,000 views annually, and a contributor for John Lordan’s Seriously Mysterious podcast. Prior to its hiatus, she also served as the Head of Content for UK YouTube publication, TenEighty Magazine.

In her spare time, Clare likes to play Pokemon GO and re-watch Heartland over and over (and over) again. She’ll also rave about her three Maltese dogs whenever she gets the chance.

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