​Ukraine to Create its Own "Army of Drones"

Illustrative image credit: Media Platforms Design Team
Illustrative image credit: Media Platforms Design Team

"Ukraine is assembling an Army of Drones," goes the ambitious caption of the worldwide fundraiser

Ukrainian authorities and the United24 foundation for collecting support for Ukraine have launched a campaign aimed to provide the Ukrainian Army with unmanned aerial vehicles.

The initiative is up to getting modern military drones as well as simple quadcopters of civilian use for aerial reconnaissance. The "complex program" will enable not only the purchase but also the repair of drones used by the military.

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The goal is to buy 200 tactical unmanned aerial reconnaissance vehicles. There is no info on the specific model but the initiative’s website says "these ‘birds’ can fly up to 24 hours, up to 160 km, at an altitude of up to 5 km. They are equipped with several thermographic cameras with GPS modules and mapping software" to search for russian forces’ positions in Ukraine.

The first drones sent by mail to the foundation, were received by the foundation / Ukraine to Create its Own
The first drones the foundation received by mail from their owners. The UAVs would soon go to the frontline units, said minister Fedorov / Photo credit: Mykhailo Fedorov, the Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, on Telegram

Also, every volunteer can donate his own camera drone, if it meets minimal requirements. The first of the donated UAVs arrived the next day after the announcement, according to Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine Mykhailo Fedorov.

In addition, over these first 24 hours, the fund had received 84.6 mln UAH (about 2.9 mln USD) in donations. Also, proposals of help started coming in, such as voluntary teaching of 150 drone operators by the "Dronarium" school which had previously taught hundreds of Ukrainian militaries to operate UAVs.

As of July 5, the "Army of Drones" foundation had collected almost 200 mln, part of these costs would go to purchase two Warmate drones, which are, interestingly, dual-use drones that can operate both as a reconnaissance drone and a loitering munition.

WARMATE drone, manufactured by Polish WB Group, can operate both as a recon and adjust fire drone in the "observation configuration", and also as a loitering munition with a high-explosive or thermobaric warhead in "combat configuration" / Photo credit: WB Group

Fedorov also unveiled the details of preliminary consultations of the initiators with the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and troops on the frontlines. During this stage of preparations, "together we formed a systemic view [of their needs] to cover the entire 2,470 km of the frontline with drones. They will make it possible to monitor the enemy's actions, change military strategies and, in the future, save as many military lives as possible."

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