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The Lithuanian Mob Was Smuggling Cigarettes Into Russia With a Drone

Soulskill posted about 5 months ago | from the don't-forget-to-tip-your-delivery-drone dept.

Crime 81

Daniel_Stuckey writes: "A homemade Lithuanian drone was reportedly being used to smuggle cigarettes into Russia, meaning that organized crime has beaten Amazon to the punch in the quest to deliver desirable products to customers aerially. Russia has 'detained' the drone, a spokesman with the Kaliningrad border department of the Russian Federal Security service told one of Russia's largest news organizations earlier this week. It's not the first time drones have been used to smuggle products — back in November, people tried to smuggle drugs into a prison in Georgia; the same thing happened in Sao Paolo back in March and in Quebec last fall. Basically, people have learned that drones are good at carrying things."

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If they're cheap enough... (1)

BobMcD (601576) | about 5 months ago | (#47021013)

If the drones are cheap enough, then it probably doesn't matter. Send several and let them try and catch them all. If any product makes it, you win. And your own neck is never at risk since the drone isn't going to squeal on you.

Well, it probably is, though. It would be hard to cover all your tracks digitally. Hmm...

Still interesting though.

Re:If they're cheap enough... (2)

nxcho (754392) | about 5 months ago | (#47021379)

According to the first google result on 'tobacco tax russia' the duty is about $25 per 1000 cigarettes. This is probably inte same order of magnitude as the profit you can make on smuggling cigarettes if you include costs of procuring, distribution and sales. Say a decent autonomous drone with some carrying capacity costs >$1000. That means you have to sell more than 40000 smuggled cigarettes for each drone you have confiscated by the authorities. I would say that you have to have a fairly decent success rate to 'win' when you are smuggling tobacco into Russia.

Re:If they're cheap enough... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47021709)

According to the first google result...

FAIL

This is probably inte same order of magnitude as the profit you can make on smuggling cigarettes if you include costs of
procuring

hijack semi full of cigarettes (3500 RUB)

distribution

drive semi to nearest bodega (FREE!)

sales

hello comrade store owner, you will now sell MY cigarettes (ongoing enforcement costs)

...(blah blah)...

Re:If they're cheap enough... (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 5 months ago | (#47026391)

TFA article has a picture of the drone incoming, whilst officers wait in a field. The smugglers clearly made 2 mistakes.

1) Flying during the day. This is an autonomous drone, flying via GPS, it doesn't need to see. Fly it at night and it's far less likely to be spotted, and far harder to catch.

2) They repeated the same route. Select a random route out of several possibilities each time you fly, and even if the authorities are aware of the drone, they won't have the man-power to send officers to intercept every possible route.

Also it would be more profitable to smuggle illegal drugs this way. On the other hand that would probably be a heavier sentence if caught.

Why? (1)

mirix (1649853) | about 5 months ago | (#47021065)

There's almost no cig tax in Russia, they're on the order of $2 a pack.
It can't be worth the hassle to save the... what, 25 cents of tax?

I guess if they were counterfeit or stolen it could be worthwhile, though.

Bringing them into Canada makes sense, with some of the highest sin taxes in the world, though. They're $14 a pack in this province.

Re:Why? (5, Funny)

camelrider (46141) | about 5 months ago | (#47021095)

May just be Putin beginning to set the stage for another invasion.

Re:Why? (2)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 5 months ago | (#47021213)

Well, the Itar-TASS article repeats this phrase twice:

He did not rule out the drone could have been used for other purposes, including unlawful actions in Russia’s territory.

The Kaliningrad border service department is checking whether the drone could have been used for purposes other than cigarette smuggling, including unlawful actions in Russian territory.

Obviously the notion of "unlawful actions in Russian territory" is an important one, but the Russian Foreign ministry isn't quite sure how to spin this one. We'll know more later, perhaps in the days leading up to the elections in Ukraine.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47021331)

Nah. The west is just trying to smuggle hysterical lesbians into Russia. Ain't gonna work.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47024379)

No, this whole thing is just the regular mix-up between British and American English.
They heard that fags were illegal in Russia so they started to smuggle them thinking that they could sell them on the black market.

Re:Why? (4, Funny)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 5 months ago | (#47021397)

Bringing them into Canada makes sense, with some of the highest sin taxes in the world, though. They're $14 a pack in this province.

So, if you accidentally try to bring more than your personal quota into the country, is it a sin tax error?

Re:Why? (1)

IcyWolfy (514669) | about 5 months ago | (#47021715)

It's $14.50 in NY.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47021963)

You poor fools.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47025833)

Spending that much money AND smoking?
Yup, poor, and foolish, check and check.

Re:Why? (1)

kruach aum (1934852) | about 5 months ago | (#47021739)

Points!

Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47021991)

I think the article is confused about the direction of the contraband. In Russia, a pack is around $1, in Lithuania - around $4. Source: I'm a lithuanian.

Re:Why? (1)

Gravis Zero (934156) | about 5 months ago | (#47023207)

There's almost no cig tax in Russia, they're on the order of $2 a pack.
It can't be worth the hassle to save the... what, 25 cents of tax?

I guess if they were counterfeit or stolen it could be worthwhile, though.

Bringing them into Canada makes sense, with some of the highest stupidity taxes in the world, though. They're $14 a pack in this province.

FTFY

Re:Why? (1)

PPH (736903) | about 5 months ago | (#47026039)

So, teach your money-grubbing government a lesson: Quit smoking.

It's a pretty good idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47021075)

If we can't even track a lost airliner jumbo jet, then just hook up some drugs inside of those big rc airplanes and send em all accross the border. They used to used unmanned submarines back in the day as well to do the same thing!

And the mexican drug cartels (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47021085)

ship dead body parts by drone! It's funny because it's true.

Re:And the mexican drug cartels (1)

kruach aum (1934852) | about 5 months ago | (#47021259)

Would be more surprising if they shipped live body parts.

Re:And the mexican drug cartels (1)

pspahn (1175617) | about 5 months ago | (#47021457)

Indeed, and I'd bet they deliver!!

Re:And the mexican drug cartels (1)

GNious (953874) | about 5 months ago | (#47023779)

Smuggle dead body-parts across the (northern) border, dump the cargo randomly, confuse the heck out of the local law-enforcement.

Wrong direction in article. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47021121)

Cigarettes are much cheaper in Russia, so "drone" smuggled stuff in opposite direction.(I know for sure, i`m local.)
Here are some fancy pics on local news site:http://www.newkaliningrad.ru/news/incidents/3689593-zaderzhany-litsa-upravlyavshie-bespilotnikom-v-kaliningradskoy-oblasti-video.html#pic3296056

Re:Wrong direction in article. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47021467)

In soviet russia....

Re:Wrong direction in article. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47021827)

In soviet russia....

drone smokes you!

Re:Wrong direction in article. (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 5 months ago | (#47024053)

Does the inverse implication also hold? Because that would mean that the current US administration is trying to turn many of the world's countries into little Soviet Russias.

K. S. Kyosuke = "Run, Forrest: RUN!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47024195)

From a fair challenge like a chickenshit blowhard http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

K. S. Kyosuke gets called out & ran (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47024199)

From a fair challenge like a chickenshit blowhard http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

Re:Wrong direction in article. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47022659)

Nice, looks home-built.

Russia to Lithuania? (1)

hammeraxe (1635169) | about 5 months ago | (#47021185)

Umm, I'm pretty sure it has to be the other way around. Why would they smuggle cigarettes INTO Russia.... They are much cheaper there compared to Lithuania.....

Unless of course this is another attempt at tarnishing the reputation of a country that is unfortunate enough to border Russia. They already claimed many of the key Maidan activists were prepared in special training camps in Lithuania, which seems unlikely.

Re:Russia to Lithuania? (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 5 months ago | (#47021681)

. Why would they smuggle cigarettes INTO Russia....

In Putinist Russia, cigarette smokes YOU!

Actually . . . the first thing I thought about was when that German teenager took a joyride with a private plane, and landed it on Red Square.

Have the former Soviet air defense systems fallen into disrepair . . . ? Or do the cigarette drones fly too low . . . ?

Re:Russia to Lithuania? (1)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about 5 months ago | (#47022613)

There's a photo in the link posted by another poster (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/05/russians-capture-cigarette-smuggling-drone/) that shows the drone to be flying low enough to ram into a low-rise building and small enough to fit on the back of a small truck and it's quite cheap: "The FSB spokesman said that it was estimated that the body of the drone cost about 300 rubles -- about $10 dollars."

Re:Russia to Lithuania? (1)

Billy the Mountain (225541) | about 5 months ago | (#47021689)

Maybe they WERE smuggling cigarettes into Russia, realized, OMFG! they were losing money like mad and NOW are smuggling cigarettes from Russia to Lithuania.

Re:Russia to Lithuania? (4, Informative)

quarterbuck (1268694) | about 5 months ago | (#47021695)

It was being used to smuggle cigarettes into Lithuania by gangs operating in both countries, though the police claim that was not the only thing that was being smuggled.
More details and pics are in an Ars article [arstechnica.com] . Seems pretty nifty, small gasoline engine, has all the control surfaces (rudders, ailerons etc.) , camera and an automatic GPS controlled route (making it a true autonomous drone rather than a remote controlled airplane).

Re:Russia to Lithuania? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 5 months ago | (#47024091)

I wonder if it weren't possible to simply use a balloon at night. No metals, (almost?) no radar visibility, completely silent, much simpler (and cheaper) design, a mostly passive beacon to localize it, all you need is a little wind in the right direction (and we have weather forecast for that). The shape of the border area seems favorable for this purpose; almost any heading from NNW to ESE would do.

K. S. Kyosuke gets called out & ran (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47024205)

From a fair challenge like a chickenshit blowhard http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

K. S. Kyosuke = "Run, Forrest: RUN!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47024209)

From a fair challenge like a chickenshit blowhard http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

Re:Russia to Lithuania? (1)

Zaiff Urgulbunger (591514) | about 5 months ago | (#47025915)

I'm wondering how they got caught anyway. The radar profile on that thing probably wouldn't be hight given that presumably only the tiny engine would be metal plus a few odd bits, and it likely would've flown fairly low.

Since the 1970s (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47021189)

People were using drones to smuggle diamonds back in the 1970s. Except they weren't called "drones" back then, just remote-control aeroplanes, so I guess that's totally different.

Re:Since the 1970s (3, Informative)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 5 months ago | (#47021591)

Much different. You need skill to operate an RC airplane. These drones pretty much fly themselves, so are much easier for criminals (and the rest of us) to use.

Re:Since the 1970s (1)

OSULugan (3529543) | about 5 months ago | (#47021645)

Much different. You need skill to operate an RC airplane. These drones pretty much fly themselves, so are much easier for criminals (and the rest of us) to use.

Just like fly-by-wire technology has made planes pretty much fly themselves! No skill necessary to operate them anymore either.

Re:Since the 1970s (1)

gamanimatron (1327245) | about 5 months ago | (#47022131)

This plane was reportedly fully autonomous, using GPS to navigate a pre-set route. So yeah, that's a drone, not RC.

Since the 1970s (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47022073)

drones sound scarier... ^___^
everyone knows they're just remote controlled airplanes, but companies wanting money for a remote controlled airplane call them drones so the unknowing idiots working for governments believe it's something completely robotic and or completely new..

but it's just a scam really, most the research and stuff is based on patents from the early to mid 70's...

Re:Since the 1970s (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47024321)

Did that actually happen or are you just thinking of the movie Sky Pirates? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0316620/

Re:Since the 1970s (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 5 months ago | (#47026457)

RC airplanes can only be operated whilst in sight of the operator. That means line of sight, a relatively short distance, and during daytime.

With a drone, the operator can program it in advance. Throw the thing into the air, at night, and then leave the launch site. And the drone can deliver miles away. Ad that makes a huge reduction in the chances of being caught.

Only it looks like these smugglers were too stupid to do it at night.

That we know of (1)

mbone (558574) | about 5 months ago | (#47021239)

These are the cases we know about. I bet the detection ratio (captures / total attempts) is actually pretty small.

Re:That we know of (1)

Todd Palin (1402501) | about 5 months ago | (#47021273)

They might have beaten Amazon, but I doubt they have beaten US drug interests to the first drone delivery. As you say, it is about the detection ratio. The Russian smugglers just weren't good enough at it.

Re:That we know of (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47021449)

Considering Republicans love their drugs, I'm sure they're not being caught because the Republicans that rule over us do not allow it to happen. It's the same reason they haven't arrested Holder for flooding the streets of Mexico with assault rifles. They wanted it to happen. They support it. They want drugs and violence.

Re:That we know of (1)

vanyel (28049) | about 5 months ago | (#47021307)

Indeed, I would change the subject to "is" rather than "was"...

What's next? (2, Funny)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#47021243)

When drone trade become illegal, then they can smuggle themselves.

Re:What's next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47021253)

Maybe when drones are illegal we can go back to radio controlled.

Re:What's next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47021745)

You know I was wondering what the difference is and I found this [rcflightline.com]

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle: According to Wikipedia, a UAV, or drone, is controlled either autonomously or by remote control of a pilot. While remote piloting was the norm for many years, autonomous control has since become the standard method of operation. DIY Drones echoes this definition; claiming that UAVs have the capacity for autonomous flight and navigation. The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) adds that drones are âoecomputer-controlled for nearly their entire flight.â Apparently, as long as the autonomous system is in place and capable of functioning, the aircraft remains a UAV, regardless of whether or not the autonomous system is in use.

Radio-Controlled Aircraft: By contrast, RCA (as the name implies) are controlled with a handheld radio transmitter, which communicates with a receiver aboard the aircraft. The receiver directs the aircraft s servos to move the control surfaces based on pilot input.

The F4 Menace (2)

Thud457 (234763) | about 5 months ago | (#47021285)

begun, the drone wars have

Re:The F4 Menace (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47021381)

begun, the drone wars have

Obama beat you to it.

SÃf£o Paulo, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47021367)

Editorsssssss

Re:SÃf£o Paulo, please (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 5 months ago | (#47021455)

Holy mojibake, Batman! I don't know how :SÃf£o Paulo renders in your browser -- maybe it looks ok to you -- but at least I have a chance of figuring it out as "Sao Paolo" in the summary rather than the character salad Slashdot makes of your "correction".

Mexican Border? (2)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about 5 months ago | (#47021401)

It would be a money maker if a tiny drone could carry six ounces of heroin or cocaine across the border. The money is sufficient to cover the occasional loss of a drone and one need not pay a mule to smuggle the substance. It may also be a lot harder to catch and convict the sender of such drugs. That also means that chemical or germ warfare could be a huge threat. But now the rabbit is out of the hat. We could not regulate drones out of existence as many people could easily build one from scratch. Maybe we could have high altitude drones that strike any site launching a drone.

Re:Mexican Border? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 months ago | (#47021437)

It would be a money maker if a tiny drone could carry six ounces of heroin or cocaine across the border.

Six ounces is nothing. You could literally drone-ize one of those styrofoam flyers you get at the mall around the holidays and transport that on a calm day

Re:Mexican Border? (1)

swb (14022) | about 5 months ago | (#47022951)

By keeping payloads lighter you could get more range. You could have it fly via GPS and land a fair distance from the border.

A kilo of heroin is worth $50-80,000. If they could get 3 miles inside the border on GPS guidance, I would imagine the cartels might even consider a fleet of $10k drones to be a single-use disposable item if they could get each one to move a kilo of heroin totally undetected.
   

Re:Mexican Border? (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 5 months ago | (#47026487)

Indeed. This cigarette drone was carrying 22 pounds of cargo. Now that's could be a serious amount of heroin or cocaine. Far more than you could stuff into even a real mule's box.

Re:Mexican Border? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47022147)

It would be a money maker if a tiny drone could carry six ounces of heroin or cocaine across the border.

Six ounces is nothing. The drone in TFA had a 12 foot wingspan and could carry 22 pounds.

Re:Mexican Border? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47026025)

Maybe we could have high altitude drones that strike any site launching a drone.

That's an arms race we could never win. The Mexican mob would launch drones right next to the houses of public officials and fly over them before the missile hits.

Of course if the Mexican people are willing to tolerate drug laws which cause gunfights on the streets, maybe it's worth aerial combat above their homes too.

now, motherfuckers, listen to me (1)

zugedneb (601299) | about 5 months ago | (#47021405)

a drone is something that can take of, carry out som emission based on gps and other sensors, and then land by itself.
serious engeneering, in other words.

this shit is called "REMOTE CONTROLLED SHIT"

THUS, NOT A DRONE, U STUPID MOTHER FUCKERS

modk doZwn (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47021469)

would be a bad Lead to 'cleaner dim. due to the irc network. The tossers, went out Assholes, as they = 36400 FreeBSD it a break, if [idge.net] ops or any of the the mundane chores survey which poor priorities, slings are limited, clear she couldn't You should bring *BSD but FreeBSD moronic, dilettante a child knows Platform for the all parties it's operating systems, a full-time GNAA to deliver what, from the OpenBSD [idge.net] of business and was since then. More eyes on the real = 36400 FreeBSD you down. It was Juliet are together NIGGER community Don't walk around Usenet is roughly NIGGER community A relatively worthwhile. It's copy a 17 Meg file users. BSD/OS website. Mr. de market. Therefore, that has lost

Slashdot seems to have a mob mentality. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47021479)

It is curious that as soon as a general feeling is developed towards a culture, country, etc. we seem to attribute all its citizens the same perceived failing and vices we generally bestow on all our 'enemies'. Suddenly, everything Russians say is a lie, provocation, whatever. They are simultaneously devious enough to set this up to `tarnish Lithuania's reputation' and too stupid to build an undetectable drone. We cheer over their misfortunes just because one of their officials made a stupid remark over trampolines (not shared by most Russian engineers or even general public) which, in addition, was taken out of context. Everything they do is evil, stupid and inhuman. Ukrainian ethnic Russians killed in Odessa `deserved it' (sure, a Ukrainian official said this) while the same incident on the Maidan (just as tragic) is a `heroic act'.

To justify this attitude, we simply mirror our own perceptions in our interpretaion of their actions and put nonexistent meaning into their statements or simply ignore those statements and facts altogether.

Good job, Slashdot!

Re:Slashdot seems to have a mob mentality. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47021611)

It is simply idiotic smuggling cigarettes from UE country (high taxes, usually working police etc.) to Russia (theoretical low taxes, in practice you bribe everyone important and don't care).

Re:Slashdot seems to have a mob mentality. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47024273)

> to Russia (theoretical low taxes, in practice you bribe everyone important and don't care).

Have you been to Russia in the last ten years? Did you in the last five years manage to buy in Russia even the smallest thing without them giving you a receipt (which means - taxes will be paid on this sale)?

bribing important people has become so expensive that very few businesses have enough profit margins to afford it.

Re: Slashdot seems to have a mob mentality. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47024401)

Yes. The only way cigarettes are being smuggled is FROM Russia TO Lithuania. Trust me, I'm from that exact part of Lithuania which has a border with Kaliningrad.

It's the Fox News mentality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47022199)

It's around a lot these days, at least here in the U.S.

So much for the "Secure Fence" (2)

craighansen (744648) | about 5 months ago | (#47022157)

The US-Mexico border is nearly 2000 miles, and the estimate for complying with the "Secure Fence Act of 2006" which builds 700 miles of fence, at $4.1Billion, greater than the budget for the Border Patrol ($3.6Billion). Attempts to extend this to a complete fence have failed multiple times in Congress.

At that rate a complete fence would cost at least $12Billion, and it would be completely useless against drug-smuggling drones that could probably be built for less than a thousand dollars, that could fly lower than radar coverage as for the "Virtual Fence," and would not be easily traceable to the origin or destination of the flights.

Drones that could carry humans would probably cost just a little more. Right now, about 500 migrants per year die crossing the US-Mexico border - drones could most probably be safer than that, but it's hard to speculate what safety features human smugglers would employ in illegal drones.

Re:So much for the "Secure Fence" (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 5 months ago | (#47022213)

An immigrant-a-pult?

Re: So much for the "Secure Fence" (1)

craighansen (744648) | about 5 months ago | (#47025037)

That was already tried.Seriously.

Re: So much for the "Secure Fence" (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 5 months ago | (#47027447)

Aw, no links to videos of it?

Re:So much for the "Secure Fence" (1)

Alioth (221270) | about 5 months ago | (#47024405)

Radar coverage I'm sure goes all the way down to the surface on the US-MX border. The US puts up balloons at about 15,000 feet on tethers with radars looking down (the balloon sites are all charted).

However, a small enough drone with only a small amount of metal might still be very hard to detect. The drone could also drop its payload and then continue flying so when the authorities go to collect the drone (hoping to catch the people recovering the goods) they just get an empty drone, while the goods may have been dropped off at any point in between.

Its not a drone (0)

dubner (48575) | about 5 months ago | (#47022363)

It's a unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or unmanned aerial system (UAS).

Drones are either male honeybees or objects used as targets. Drone is what the popular press calls a UAV/UAS and it contributes to "the dumbing of America".

If you think it doesn't matter, go back to watching your "flat screen TV" or put some "shrink wrap" on a wire connection, you ignoramus.

Re:Its not a drone (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 5 months ago | (#47026519)

Not only does it not matter, the dictionaries already say you are wrong.

http://dictionary.reference.co... [reference.com]

Re:Its not a drone (1)

dubner (48575) | about 5 months ago | (#47027185)

You are absolutely right (on both counts) and I stand corrected. Thank you for pointing that out.

I must say: it makes me a little sad to have the popular press and "great unwashed" corrupt our specific technical language. But that just dates me -- obviously I'm a fossil.

IP Lawyers Howl with Rage (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 5 months ago | (#47022843)

All of Amazons Drone Patents are worthless!

Back during the Cold War... (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about 5 months ago | (#47023119)

I remember, during the Cold War (and the start of the Drug War), when "cruise missles" first came out.

There were two designs - a short-range one, with an engine that destroyed its bearings during the run, and a long-range one, with better bearings so the engine could be stopped and restarted. They both used terrain-following, as well as inertial navigation, with onboard radar and a computer that could figure out the drone's location and path from the topography. VERY advanced computing for the time. They could fly at treetop level and thus avoid ground-based radar until it was too late to do anything about them.

The long-range one could carry a payload of about 2/3 ton (suitable for a substantial H-bomb). It navigated well enough that it could be flown into a larg doorway or window (though it would, of course, go out through the far wall...).

I remember thinking that the range was substantually longer than the distance from Columbia to the southwestern US and that 1,350 pounds is a LOT of cocaine. B-)

The downside, of course, was that if it WAS detected, it would look JUST like a cruise missile flying into the US over the Gulf of Mexico...

I'm confused... (1)

Nogami_Saeko (466595) | about 5 months ago | (#47023363)

Can someone describe the difference between a "drone" and a "RC helicopter" to me?

I was under the impression a "drone" was autonomous, but many of the news stories about "drones" seem to be just RC toys?

from Russia to Lithuania (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47024081)

Cigarettes are smuggled from Russia to EU via Lithuania.

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