ZALA-421-22 Unmanned Aerial vehicle (UAV), Russia

ZALA-421-22 Unmanned Aerial vehicle

The ZALA 421-22 medium-range unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed and built by ZALA AERO Group is currently in service with the Russian Emergencies Ministry (EMERCOM), as well as the Ministry of Interior of Russia.

The UAV is intended for missions such as aerial surveillance and reconnaissance, perimeter security, search and detection of objects, rescue, security of critical infrastructure, and monitoring and analysis of areas affected by natural disasters.

Orders and deliveries

The ZALA 421-22 UAV was introduced in April 2013. The Kamchatka Rescue Center of EMERCOM of Russia received two UAVs in June 2015. A ZALA 421-22 UAV underwent tests by the Amur rescue centre of EMERCOM of Russia in October 2015.

ZALA AERO Group delivered eight ZALA 421-22F type UAVs to EMERCOM of Russia in December 2014. The ZALA 421-22F was also selected by the Archaeologists Tomsk State University.

ZALA 421-22 UAV design and features

The ZALA 421-22 UAV is built of composite materials and features octocopter design with eight rotors and four arms. Each arm is fitted with two two-blade rotors at both ends.

The UAV has a maximum take-off weight of 8kg and a payload capacity of up to 2kg. It is man-portable and can be quickly deployed. Featuring foldable frame, the unmanned helicopter can be carried in a tube-like container.

It has vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capability and can be landed autonomously on unprepared runways. It can operate in both automatic and semi-automatic modes.

The UAV can be optionally fitted with CCK-4 life-saving equipment under the fuselage in rescue missions.

Payloads carried on ZALA 421-22 unmanned helicopter

The UAV can be configured with a variety of target loads based on the mission needs. Its interchangeable payloads include Z-16IK35 / ON gyro-stabilised electro-optical (EO) and thermal imager; Z-16AGRO 6, Z-16AGRO 4 gyro-stabilised camera, Z-16O / Bk Alarm 1 warning system with camera, Z-16GAMMA gamma-ray detector with a video camera, Z-16F2 / VK and Z-16F3 / VK cameras, Z-16EIK18 / 60 zoom camera, and Z-16??HD gyro-stabilised camera.

"The ZALA 421-22 UAV was introduced in April 2013."

The ZALA 421-22F is also fitted with a new Z-22F1 / VC camera in addition to the standard payloads.

The EO and thermal cameras are designed to capture real-time surveillance and reconnaissance data in both day and low-light conditions.

Navigation and communications

A global positioning system (GPS) / global navigation satellite system (GLONASS) is used to aid navigation and positioning of the air vehicle. The on-board autopilot provides the UAV with automatic flight control capability, while reducing the operator workload.

The UAV is also equipped with digital telemetry system, navigation lights, digital three-axis magnetometer, target tracking module, SNA radio receiver, and coded orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (C-OFDM) digital video transmitter.

An automatic target tracking system (AC module) provides the ability to track and monitor stationary and moving objects.

Ground control station

The hand-held ground control station (GCS) receives high-resolution imagery and telemetry data from the target loads through a secure communication link and sends mission planning data to the UAV.

Performance of ZALA 421-22 UAV

The unmanned aerial vehicle is powered by eight electric pull engines and uses 10,000mAh 7S battery power under emergency conditions.

The UAV has a maximum speed of 30km/h and an endurance of 35min. It can perform missions over a distance of up to 5km. It can hover at a maximum height of 2km and can withstand wind speeds of up to 10m/s and temperatures ranging between -30°C and 40°C.