The ukrainian servicemen have shot down russias newest merlin, vr surveillance drone. The relevant statement was made by the ukrainian air force. Photos of the downed uav were released by pavlo castro. This drone was first unveiled in september 2021 and has not been officially adopted, yet the merlin vr is equipped with a hybrid power generator, which was supposed to ensure low acoustic visibility. Not much is known about the tactical and technical characteristics of the drone. It can stay in the air for up to 10 hours and reach an altitude of up to 5 kilometers. The drone can carry up to 6.5 kilograms of payload. That means the uav may have a powerful optoelectronic module. The unmanned aircraft was developed by the smolinsk research institute of modern telecommunication technologies. This is not the first time that the ukrainian servicemen have downed a rare russian drone in the mikolai region. The armed forces shot down a classified russian drone, which has no official name. The russian military tried to conduct air reconnaissance with this uav trying to disrupt counter offensive attacks of ukrainian forces. The uav is equipped with a 12 lens camera for panoramic aerial and video footage.