Ukraine's Army of Drones: Remote vehicles are a linchpin of defenders' arsenal

Ukraine - While drones used to be just a hobbyist's tech dream, they've become a key part of Ukraine's war machine as Putin's invasion forces continue to pound the country.

Drones need a pilot on the ground and sometimes someone to throw them into the air.
Drones need a pilot on the ground and sometimes someone to throw them into the air.  © Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP

Ukraine received more than $20 million in donations to buy over 200 "tactical unmanned aerial reconnaissance vehicles" and build an Army of Drones, per euronews.

The planned addition of drones will bolster the country's fleet of remote vehicles that have been a key part of the military's response to Russia's invasion war.

So far, Ukraine's forces have relied on a small fleet of Bayraktar TB2 military drones, as well as donations of any other drones they can get their hands on. While the Bayraktars can deliver bombs and missiles, smaller drones like thousands of DJI Mavic 3s are used to do reconnaissance work, spotting Russian forces and even helping to guide artillery strikes on the invading army.

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Some of the remote vehicles they've been using are hobbyists' drones, small and unable to carry more than a simple camera. But that is set to change to more sophisticated military-grade drones.

The Ukrainian government site working to build the Army of Drones says of the new generation, "These 'birds' can fly up to 24 hours, up to [100 miles], at an altitude of up to [three miles]. They are equipped with several thermographic cameras with GPS modules and mapping software."

"The key thing is that they are hard to spot, which means they are hard to get knocked down. These drones will help constantly monitor the front line and identify the aggressor’s positions."

As Putin's war against Ukraine drags on, drones, like those in a recent US shipment, are becoming increasingly more important for Ukrainian armed forces and the Russian invaders.

Cover photo: Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP

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