PCHELA-1 Small-Size Tactical Air Reconnaissance System

Companies & Organizations:

The Pchela-1 system is designed to carry out air reconnaissance, perform additional target and terrain reconnaissance at tactical depth. It can be used to patrol roads, gas and oil pipelines, provide maintenance of power transmission lines, and detect forest fires.


The system incorporates:

Pchela-1 RPV in transport containers (up to 10 RPVs)

mobile ground control post (with two automated work-stations)

transporter-launcher vehicle, with prelaunch test equipment

transporter-loader vehicle, accommodating four RPVs and expendable means

technical support vehicle.



The Pchela-1 RPV system is mounted on the Ural trucks chassis. The system offers fully autonomous prelaunch preparation of the RPV, its launch and remote flight control, reception of the reconnaissance data with presentation on the operator's monitor in real time, as well as post-flight maintenance. On the operator's monitor the RPV’s flight path and current coordinates also are displayed. The system is capable of providing simultaneous remote control of two RPVs (with data reception) from the command and launch post. The system can be deployed by means of standard airdrop facilities in any region of the world. The Pchela-1 RPV uses two solid-propellant boosters to take off from a short guide rail. Its flight can be controlled by commands of the pre-programmed onboard autopilot or ground operator. The vehicle is recovered by parachute on any level. The four-point non-retractable landing gear can sustain a 10 g-load at landing. The Pchela-1 is made of fibreglass and features low-damage landing capability and high repairability. It is transported with folded wings in a transport/ launch container protecting it during airdrops and providing quick deployment.



The onboard equipment of Pchela-1 includes a combined reconnaissance set comprising a TV or IR system mounted on a gyro-stabilised ventral platform. The TV camera field of view can vary within a range of 3-30 degrees. The IR system’s ground coverage totals three fourths of the RPV's altitude at three millirads resolution.

Recce payload:

TV-camera with zoom-lens,

mounted on gyrostabilized platform

multi-camera TV system

IR line scanner (and forward-looking radar)

IR line-scanner mounted on gyrostabilized platform


Flight altitude, m:

over sea surface 100-3,500

over terrain 100-1,000


Air speed, km/h



Flight endurance, hrs



Max launch weight, kg



RPV launch site altitude (above S/L), m up to



Wind speed, m/s:

at launch up to 10

at landing up to 8


Number of simultaneously controlled RPVs



Ground crew:

mobile ground control post 3

transporter-launcher vehicle 3


Dimensions, m:

length 2.7

wing span 3.4

height 1.41

Defense Products & Services: PCHELA-1 Small-Size Tactical Air Reconnaissance System
Companies & Organizations: 
Defense Products & Services Sectors: RPVs, tactical reconnaissance
Description: PCHELA-1 Small-Size Tactical Air Reconnaissance System
Source of Information: Rosoboronexport Joint Stock Company