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Ukraine - Unmanned Air Vehicles

At the present stage of development of military technologies, the most progressive direction has been the development and implementation of Unmanned Air Vehicles - Bespylotnyky Letatelnyh Apparatov [Non-Piloted Flying Apparatus]. However, to call them robots or, in the West, drones is not entirely correct. In fact, these are remotely controlled combat complexes, which are fully or mainly controlled by people - operators from special control points. And it is the operators who finally recognize the targets and give the command to destroy them.

Given the high manufacturability of such a product, there are very few manufacturers of strike drones in the world today. So far, this market has only seven countries: France, Italy, China, Turkey, Russia, Israel and the United States. Moreover, if the production of UAVs "kamikaze" is quite realistic to deploy even in a garage, then solid large devices are produced only by Israel, the United States and China, medium in size and characteristics - even Turkey. United Europe and Russia are just beginning to implement their own projects.

Analysis of the facts of the use of unamnned aerial vehicles in armed conflicts, includuing in the East of Ukraine it is possible to conclude that the use of a large number of UAVs that can carry the combat load, can change the course of the battle and cause significant combat losses to the enemy's heavy equipment and personnel.

In 2014 Ukraine entered the war, in fact, without unmanned aerial vehicles. Soviet reconnaissance "Flights" and "Swifts", which were used in the first months of hostilities, with their film cameras, are hopelessly outdated. And there were almost no modern products in the army. While the Russian Federation, despite the huge technological lag behind the Western powers, in this area, was far ahead of Ukraine, already having a number of developments and serial samples.

Ukraine tried to buy a large drone abroad which could carry out the intelligence tasks that faced our military personnel. But they faced the problem that no one wanted to sell a military UAV to Ukraine in a conflict. Therefore, there was no other choice but to assemble it in Ukraine.

Over the past few years, in the east of Ukraine, various UAVs have been used by the armed formations of the ORDLO and their coordinators from among the Russain special services. The effectiveness of their use is very high. UAVs can be used for sabotage and terrorist acts. An example of the use of UAVs in the commission of a sabotage act is the dumping of bombs on the weapons and ammunition depots of the 65th Arsenal of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine (Kharkiv region).

A new branch of the domestic defense-industrial complex was created from scratch. Initially, the efforts of volunteers were used to purchase civilian vehicles, which were either used "as is" or adapted to the tasks of the war with the help of the "Kulibins". However, over time, a full-fledged production of real, shock and reconnaissance weapons was established. And today this segment of the military-industrial complex is developing dynamically, claiming the title of one of the most innovative and groundbreaking in the domestic "defense". Today, Ukrainian companies are developing a number of promising products that can bring Ukrainian UAVs to a new technological height.

Tiny and not-so-unmanned aerial vehicles are slowly revolutionizing the military. For obvious reasons, the world's greatest attention focused on the Turkish model Bayraktar TB2, which repeatedly proved its combat effectiveness in the Middle East and the war in Karabakh. These drones were also in service in Ukraine. By the end of 2020 there were two such complexes, but "soon the reserves of our army may be replenished. ", - said the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel-General Ruslan Khomchak.

What is the general need of the Armed Forces for such weapons? After all, what does Ukrainian industry offer accordingly, what can it brag about? Prior to the war in the Donbas, unmanned aerial vehicles in the Ukrainian army were virtually absent as a class. The only type was the extremely outdated (both physically and morally) Soviet Tu-143 "Flight". However, their combat effectiveness is evidenced by the fact that the camera that stood on them was film.

During the fighting, the army began to receive numerous civilian vehicles from volunteers (both collected "on their knees" and bought in China), which were either used "as is" or with the help of "people's engineering genius" were brought to the state of a strike drone ( the so-called "Afghan version", when a faceted glass with a grenade, or something wrapped in scotch tape, is fixed in the drone camera holder). However, how effective such a weapon can be called ... If the goal is to scare the enemy, then there is probably some sense in it. However, at that time there was no talk of any shock options, let alone mass production.

The private company "Ukrspetsystems" over the past few years has become one of the most important players in the Ukrainian market of unmanned vehicles. The company offers flexible solutions for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for military purposes, including the PD-1 glider type, gyro-stabilized gimbals with thermal and daytime cameras, PC-1 series quadcopters and related equipment. Thanks to the use of the latest technologies and progressive engineering practices, Ukrspetsystems offers high quality products at affordable prices. The priority among customers is the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

At International Aviation and Space Salon AVIASVIT - XXI October 11 14, 2016, Ukrainian company Ukrspecsystems unveiled two unmanned aircraft systems: PD-1 and PC-1. PD-1 [People's Drone] is a lightweight UAV with a wingspan of 3 meters, equipped with ICE (internal combustion engine). It is suitable for surveillance and other purposes. The UAV is equipped with digital encrypted data channel with a high level of protection against any interference. PD-1 has up to 8 kg of carrying capacity (excluding fuel). The maximum takeoff weight is 33 kg. The machine iis capable of carrying any payload without balancing. Its flight time is 5 hours (for basic configuration).

"Reconnaissance drones are more or less in decent quality entering the service of the Armed Forces. These are, first of all, "Fury", "Stork-100", which are produced by small firms, well, as they are produced - assembled from Chinese components. But the drums There are not enough of them in the sixth year of the war in the Armed Forces, military expert Mykhailo Zhyrokhov commented on Ukrinform 30 November 2020. Today, he says, our army can boast only Turkish "Bayraktars" (translated from Turkish - "Flagbearer"). "These are two such complexes (consisting of six drones, two control stations and 200 guided missiles), which were delivered to Ukraine in March 2019, successfully passed state tests and put into service," the expert added.

Ukraine has created a number of different types of strike drones (strike-reconnaissance, strike and kamikaze - fundamentally different in price, impact, tasks), capable of destroying enemy targets, while preventing possible human and infrastructural losses. However, it should be noted that a significant part of them is still under development and factory testing.

It is worth mentioning such promising projects as Gorlytsia (SE Antonov) and PD-1 (UkrSpecSystems). In addition to purely reconnaissance tasks (aerial surveying, surveillance, patrol, search and monitoring missions, etc.), these devices, in the case of completion / modernization, can move into the category of tactical strike drones.

The new version of the PD-1 is equipped with a new more powerful engine, which can now be equipped with barrage ammunition, which is installed in special hanging containers, located one on each wing. The payload, according to the developers, is 8 kg. The maximum flight time is 5 hours. "Ceiling" - 2 km. The accuracy of the defeat from a height of one kilometer is about ten meters, but this figure, as noted in the description, also depends on whether the ammunition is equipped with aiming and trajectory adjustment systems. "We are currently working on unmanned ammunition, but, of course, there is a need for precision weapons. The most interesting stage is the transition to guided ammunition which is adjusted during the flight. Therefore, this stage (with unguided ammunition) can be considered intermediate.

These developments do not exhaust the whole range of innovations in the field of unmanned aerial vehicles of Ukraine. Thus, the industry of production and development of UAVs, which practically did not exist five years ago, today in Ukraine not only exists, but also looks confidently into the future. From the large number of companies that entered the market of unmanned aerial vehicles in 2014, five years after the natural "rejection" formed a stable backbone of the flagship companies.

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Page last modified: 24-06-2021 17:44:28 ZULU