Sojka III is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operated by the Czech Army until it was decommissioned in December 2011.
The mission of Sojka (“jaybird”) is to provide aerial reconnaissance, radio reconnaissance, artillery fire observation, electronic warfare, or to launch infrared targets for air defence training.
A Sojka unit usually consists of three or four Sojka UAVs, a transport truck, launch truck, control and monitoring vehicle, and an off-road vehicle for transport of the landed UAV.
The Sojka is launched from a ramp using a rocket-assisted device to get takeoff speed. Wind limits are 12 m/s against the wind or 3 m/s in a side wind. A wind speed of lower than 8 km/h is required to get a good optical environment.
The operator can choose between two modes:
Semiautomatic – the operator can change the altitude and direction of the UAV
Automatic – the operator can specify up to eight turning points. The operator can switch to semiautomatic mode or order plane to return to the starting point at any time.
Landing can be done using a parachute or via operator control.
The system is composed of four ground vehicles – a transport carriage with four SOJKA III drones, a maintenance vehicle, a launching track vehicle and one 1.5 ton off-road UAZ 469 Turbodiesel vehicle designed to search for used drones. The UAZ 469 is to be replaced by the Land Rover Defender 90 in near future.
The SOJKA III is equipped with a wide-angle air photocamera for taking still pictures from a flight level of 600 metres, and a TV camera for sideward screening of an area of up to 60 kilometres. The pictures of real situations on the battlefield are on-line broadcast to the ground control centre.
Its flight is controlled from the mobile control centre. There are two operators in it: one operates the flight itself and the second receives and processes reconnaissance information in real time. The master PC records and displays flight information, and evaluates received data in close coordination with a terminal of a satellite navigation system NAVSTAR/GPS.
|Max. Takeoff Weight|
|Czech Republic||VTUL a PVO Praha (Czech Air Force Research Institute)||Prague||http://www.vtul.eu/|