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Vietnam autorities discover mysterious drone on beach.

| 2023

According to information published by Tuoi Tre News on December 17, 2023, a Vietnamese fisherman, Tran Thanh, 65, made an unusual discovery on the coast of Tinh Ky Commune in Quang Ngai Province. While fishing, Thanh found an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) washed ashore, its body covered with foreign inscriptions.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle found on a beach. (Picture source: Tuoi Tre News)

The UAV, measuring three meters in length and 30 centimeters in diameter, with two 65cm wings, exhibited signs of long-term water exposure, including deformation of some parts and equipment. 

Authorities from the Border Guard, in collaboration with local military officials, have commenced a thorough assessment of the drone. Key features noted include a variety of numbers and letters in foreign languages on its nose, tail, and body, as well as propellers. The UAV is now in the custody of the Sa Ky Port Border Guard Station for further identification and investigation.


The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle discovered on a Vietnamese beach is hypothesized to be an S-200 sea-launched target drone. It is designed to replicate enemy missiles or aircraft, providing a realistic target for military exercises. Its design is optimized for low-altitude, high-speed flight over the sea, making it suitable for simulating maritime threats.

The S-200 is characterized by a streamlined body for reduced radar visibility, and typically measures a few meters in length. It's equipped with wings that enable stability and maneuverability at high speeds. The propulsion of the S-200 is typically achieved through a jet or rocket engine, allowing it to reach high subsonic speeds similar to those of anti-ship missiles.

The drone includes advanced control systems capable of executing pre-programmed flight paths, and often features GPS and inertial navigation for precise positioning. Some models of the S-200 are designed to be recoverable, equipped with parachute systems for post-exercise retrieval. Additionally, the drone usually has radar and infrared reflectors to enhance its detectability during training.

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