In May 2018, the Belarus military tested a UAV with a rocket launcher attached, and a video of the demonstration was uploaded on YouTube. The drone rocket launcher was equipped with an RPG-26, a disposable anti-tank weapon that was first developed by the Soviet Union in the 1980s. The weaponized UAV and other military-adapted drones can be seen in this video:
Drone rocket launcher with an RPG-26
Military Today stated the RPG-26 entered service in 1985, and it was commonly used against armored vehicles and tanks. The 6.39-pound rocket launcher’s effective firing range is rated at about 820 feet, and it can penetrate 1.4 feet of armor, nearly 3.28 feet of concrete and roughly 4.9 feet of brickwork. The RPG-26 was traditionally aimed using a flip-up sight, but a customized UAV can be lined up with a camera to increase accuracy.
The single-shot rocket launcher has a back-blast area rated at 98 feet, so using a drone to fire the weapon reduces the risk of burning nearby personnel with hot gasses from the rocket’s discharge. Since the weapon can be used on a drone, the rocket launcher is less likely to hurt the operator if it malfunctions.
Other military-grade UAVs
Besides the drone rocket launcher, a fixed-wing UAV was used by the Belarus military to scout surround areas.
A grounded UAV with two rocket launchers was also spotted in the video.