Ukraine's New Buntar 1 Drone: Reconnoitering Air Defenses Beyond Their Range

Photo credit: Facebook.com/BuntarAerospace
Photo credit: Facebook.com/BuntarAerospace

What are the features of the Buntar Aerospace reconnaissance system compared to similar models currently used by the Armed Forces of Ukraine?

Buntar Aerospace co-founder and Chief Product Officer Bohdan Sas told Espreso about the features of the new unmanned long-range reconnaissance aircraft system.

"The main advantage of the Buntar 1 unmanned aerial vehicle is its vertical takeoff and landing. This allows operators to use less time to deploy the complex to start a combat mission and successfully complete it. We tested many launch and landing options. It turned out that vertical takeoff and landing were very effective. We work at distances of 60 kilometers from the launch area and have a fairly high-quality camera. The main task is to see air defense targets at a distance of about 10 km from their location. Thus, it makes it possible to reconnoiter air defense assets without entering their area of operation," he said.

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The Chief Product Officer told what are the features of the Buntar Aerospace reconnaissance system.

"The main feature is soft. All products that fly today are not unique. Aircraft, communications equipment, cameras are standardized and universal. We create software that allows us to significantly automate the entire process of performing a reconnaissance mission. Soft consists of two parts. The system helps the operator plan and execute the mission. Currently, we already have a complex for mission planning. It dramatically reduces the time an operator spends planning a quality mission, taking into account situational awareness, weather factors, aircraft specifications, known air defense zones, etc. Today, it takes about two hours to build a reconnaissance mission. To do this, you need to have about 5 different tools, including laptops, various chats in Signal, situational awareness systems, and a large and experienced crew. We automate these processes, situational awareness, and the steps that the operator has to take in route planning and execution," added Sas.

According to him, the main task today is to increase the utilization of the UAVs. After all, unmanned aircraft of this class are quite expensive. The cost of a 'bird' that flies 60-100 km is tens or hundreds of thousands of hryvnias.

"We are building soft. It is already useful for our combat operators. We use it to carry out combat missions. Other manufacturers of unmanned aerial systems are also interested, so this is a common goal. In fact, we are already starting to test this system with other manufacturers," Sas said.

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