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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Civil drones can bring the country billions

Russia could become one of the world leaders of a new segment of the economy – civil drones. Already, a number of Russian companies are developing projects to deliver mail or test results. The Russian civil development, in contrast to the military, do not yield to foreign.

Russia could become the market leader in the use of UAVs for civilian purposes, which, in fact, worldwide is still in its infancy. At the same time Russia, with its large territories in the plan is particularly attractive for the development of commercial use of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles, or, as sometimes expressed, drones). First service drones will be in demand in the transportation market, agriculture, mapping and rescue of people.

“By 2035, the global market size could reach 200-300 billion dollars and Russia will be able to make it 35-40 billion dollars”

To date, Russia has not yet formed the market for civil use unmanned aircraft, as, indeed, anywhere in the world. However, by 2035 the global market size could reach 200-300 billion dollars and Russia will be able to make it 35-40 billion dollars, said the head of the working group on the development and implementation of the roadmap “AERONET” National technology initiative Sergei Zhukov. This market includes the development and production of unmanned air vehicles, their components and software, as well as the provision of services.

Barriers to entry in this market is still small. Earlier in April, an interagency working group under the leadership of Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich took a road map of AERONET” by 2035, which aims to make a technological breakthrough in the market of the use of drones in civilian sectors. Three years is financing programs to 19.5 billion rubles, 60% of which budget funds, the rest from extra – budgetary investments.

The current state of the Russian market

By the end of 2015, the market for civilian drones within the framework of public procurement is only 3.3 billion rubles, or just over $ 50 million. This means that the projected twenty years, the market for civilian use of drones is expected to grow almost a thousand times.

Now the biggest volume of the market of services of UAVs (over 90%) is concentrated in two civilian areas, is a mapping and surveying for the diagnosis of an extended object, in particular, oil and gas pipelines, power lines and roads, says the President of the Association of operators and developers of unmanned aircraft systems (AIRBUS) Amir Valiev. “And about 5% is agriculture, but it is, I think, in the near future will develop and there will be three pillars of the market of drones,” – said the expert. Accounting drones yet, but estimated, in his words, Russia now has about 100 flies unmanned vehicles used for civilian purposes. “By the end of 2016, I think, will be not less than 300 devices. By the end of 2017 – at least 1.5–2 thousand drones will work in Russia for the needs of companies,” says Valiyev.

The use of drones on a commercial basis today, in fact, is outside the legal field that discourages companies from using their services. For example, Gazprom says that spending $ 400 for an hour flight by plane and would like to reduce the cost of using unmanned vehicles, says the technical Director of scientific production company “Tiber” Sergey Tizik. “However, there are barriers that do not allow you to do everything clearly and beautifully. And big companies do not want to get involved because of legal risks,” he says. In addition to the registration and certification, you also need to solve the issue with insurance as the aircraft and payload. Plus there is a need to create standardized procedures, methodologies work drones in civilian sectors.

In fact, a civil drones flying illegally, no work rules did not exist for them. However, in April, came into force changes in the Air code regarding the use of unmanned aircraft (462-FZ). Here only changes made were without approval from real market participants, the adoption of this law almost completely blocked the way for use of drones in the civilian sector. But after handling a letter to the President of the Russian Federation the situation has improved. And now it was the second hearing of the package of amendments to the 462-FZ, but subject to the requirements of law enforcement agencies and professional community. Zhukov hopes that the amendments will be adopted in the third reading to the departure of the deputies for the holidays.

They bring such legal issues as the registration of unmanned aircraft, certification of drones weighing between 250 grams and certification of flight personnel, but subject to the requirements of law enforcement agencies and professional community. It is assumed that the state registration of drones weighing from 0.25 to 30 kg will be engaged in a self-regulatory organization, certification of machines and pilots will also go through public organizations. Also necessary to develop the system “Anikonov professional intercept unmanned security forces, also engaged in the working group “AERONET”.

Of the company and are now working with unmanned aerial vehicles, however, large companies have a rule that you cannot use for interior work uncertified equipment. Therefore, the use of drones conducted as R & d and R & d as experimental apparatus. “Now they can use drones as a certified product in large volumes. Because R & d is only 4% of turnover and profit, it is very small money,” said Amir Valiev.

The scope of

“In five years, I think the biggest turnover will be in the delivery market. Half of the market – it will be shipping, and the other half will be shared by the aerial survey, diagnostics of state and agriculture, which will lead,” says Valiyev. Aerial surveys will remain approximately at the same level, but the use of drones in all other areas will grow. Now the market is doubling every year.

In the delivery, for example, is developing the project together with the medical laboratory “Invitro” on delivery drones, medical tests. The company wants to become an international operator for the delivery of goods using drones.

The first step is the organization by the end of 2017 delivery drones in Kabardino-Balkaria, where there are 8-9 points of sampling of biological material (of the country’s more than 800 points of study).

“We actually sell drones to large factories that sell to the military”

“Now the project is in the approval stage, I think, in the early autumn of the contract will be signed and will be fully funded from the “Invitro”. The amount invested in the project for three years is expected in the area of 430 million rubles. 50% it is financed by “Invitro”, 20% us and only 30% – at the expense of the state,” says Association President AIRBUS, who also represents one of the companies to develop drones “AFM Servers” (brand “Ptero”).

Planned work also with “Mail of Russia”. “They are interested in difficult areas for delivery of mail and small cargo”, – says Sergey Tizik, technical Director of SPC “Tiber”. According to him, this summer is scheduled experiment real operation of drones for deliveries in remote areas those people who live there. During the week, will be tested acceptance-sending drones in a radius of 700 km. “There is one post office 100 settlements. It is planned to do an imitation of the container. You can send not only letters, but also pension money. There’s no cell service, so communication with the device will not. To operational will be the man in Moscow,” says Tyzik.

At the same time to bring down a flying drone pensions, for example, the hunter will be difficult. Tyzik spoke about the dispute with the military, which assured that the plastic will bring down a drone with a two meter wing span in flight at 200-500 meters. In the first day, four machine gunners and two machine gunners spent 1.5 thousand rounds and have only one minor hit. The second day it was already 10 people with guns plus 4-5 snipers. It was released already 4.5 thousand rounds. But all to no avail. Only after the UAV went to the peak and found 80 metres from the ground, he was able to knock down. Given that one cartridge is worth 9 rubles, the military has spent 54 thousand rubles for two days in an attempt to shoot down a drone.

All large foreign transport companies, including Amazon, DHL, EBay, have their own projects on unmanned cargo delivery. “They are creating the infrastructure on the experimental sites. In particular, the “Amazon” received a license for drone flights in the experimental corridor between the two rivers. They are there to establish delivery technology between the two banks of the river,” says Valiyev.

And, of course, drones can help to increase the yield of Russian lands. “Research the company can raise the yield by 30-60% with the methods that they already have. But the use of drones allows them to do it cheaper and faster,” says Valiyev. According to him, the service on the use of drones can be 3-4% of the total agricultural market in case of market development of drones.

There is another big market for shooting at a variety of events, such as weddings, the so-called shooting at the copter. “The market is now growing rapidly and it is also necessary to pay attention, it is also necessary to make safe and regulated. If to speak about shooting with a camera at weddings, annual turnover in Moscow alone, about 100-150 million rubles”, – said Valiyev.

Features of the market of drones

The cost of one UAV with a mass of 20 kg is 4.4 million rubles, says the head of the Association of AIRBUS. While there is no mass production, profit margins are low.

“The average car costs about 1 million rubles. The cost of production is about 20%, about 50% marketing, the rest – 30% – take dealers. We can say that the structure of production of any mass product is about the same. Due to the fact that drones – products not mass, production cost is higher – in the region of 40-80%. In addition, you have to constantly make a lot of changes. We are every time we make a new plane, something to modify because I’m trying to reduce the cost of the product. So all the profit that we get, we have to invest in the next generation of drones, purchasing machinery, improving technology, hiring people. But when mass production occurs, the rate of return will be the same as in the automotive industry” – said Amir Valiev.

In General, the market of the leaders had escaped those companies that have relied on the military and security forces. Orders from them to allow them to build on their achievements.

Leading companies to create drones in the US, EU and Israel. However, the Russian development is not only not inferior to them, but even something better.

“The US and Israel are cool in terms of military, but in civilian drones, we are approximately at the same level. Moreover, we lead in part of long-haul flights. In Russia, the drones fly far away, 300 km, and they are there not only within visual line of sight or at the experimental site,” says Valiyev.

Interestingly, for the military and law enforcement agencies drones create private companies.

“The military has no technological developments, we are better than the military. All manufacturing companies, large factories, institutions are lagging behind us in technological development. Private firms now lead in research. Just still can only get a large enterprise, so we can’t sign a contract directly with the security forces. We do this through a state Institute that takes part of the profits. Because they are big and they can win the competition, and we are not large, but can be done. Here arises what is called the public-private partnership. We actually sell drones to large factories that sell to the military,” says Alim Valiev.

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