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​Capabilities of Mysterious Drones From Destinus Allegedly Supplied to Ukraine: Lord, Ruta, and Hornet

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The actual looks of the drones mentioned in this article is unknown / Open source illustrative photo
The actual looks of the drones mentioned in this article is unknown / Open source illustrative photo

The Lord UAV is said to have been helping Ukrainians on the frontlines for over a year now, while Ruta and Hornet have just arrived in 2024

Founder of Destinus, Mikhail Kokorich, fled russia to begin a start-up specializing in the manufacture of unmanned aerial systems. Some of its developments are being supplied to Ukraine as of now, Kokorich told Challenges. His company currently makes more than 100 big drones, the main customer being the Armed Forces of Ukraine, he stated. Notably, the UAVs are designated as dual-use products meaning they can serve both civilian and military needs.

The French magazine, in turn, uncovers the names of the systems delivered by Destinus, citing its own sources. Namely, the Lord UAS has been transferred since Q2 2023, then Ruta and Hornet followed starting 2024.

Read more: ​The UK Defense Intelligence Reports on Downed russian Su-34 Aircraft
Mikhail Kokorich poses in front of Destinus, a jet-powered UAV and the main product of the company
Mikhail Kokorich poses in front of Destinus, a jet-powered UAV and the main product of the company / Photo credit: Keystone SDA

Given the description, Lord is a propeller-powered winged drone with an operational range of 750 to 2,000 km and it has a configuration capable of kamikaze strikes against targets on the ground. Apart from that, the UAV can gather intelligence, including ELINT, conduct surveillance and reconnaissance, and engage in electronic warfare.

On a note from Defense Express, none of the mentioned drones has photos in open access, nor specifications besides those provided by the Challenges. The different capabilities most likely point to various payloads that Lord. as a modular aerial platform, can carry.

Though worth pointing out that the combination of a multirole platform with a suicide strike capability is basically an attempt to mold together two polar opposites because the requirements for a single-use and a reusable aerial vehicles are completely different.

Next, Ruta is described as a UAV with a jet engine, it is an attack drone with a 300 km range. Additionally, it can act as a practice target or deploy for tactical reconnaissance. The fact sources mention its role as a dummy for air defense practice might hint of its origin as a development that transformed from an air target into a suicide attack weapon. This kind of tuning up is not that rare, at least several models used in Ukraine were created the same way.

Hornet is yet another interesting item. A small drone of a few kilograms of weight, it is designed for territory mapping, and it can provide signal relay. The company, however, advertises its product as an air defense weapon. This use is much more interesting, since it may prove more cost-efficient than expensive interceptors provided to Ukrainian forces by partners and allies.

Read more: ​Ukrainian Warriors Receive New UAV in Accordance with NATO Standards