Air Platforms

Arms and Security 2017: Ukrainian Armor unveils combat UAV system

12 October 2017

At the 2017 Arms and Security Exhibition in Kiev, the Deputy Director of Ukrainian Armor, Dmytro Polyakov, explained the company's new combat unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) concept. This uses four UAVs controlled from Varta 4×4 vehicles to attack enemy positions.

Ukrainian Armor's Varta 4x4 vehicle with new remotely operated weapon station. (IHS Markit/Samuel Cranny-Evans)Ukrainian Armor's Varta 4x4 vehicle with new remotely operated weapon station. (IHS Markit/Samuel Cranny-Evans)

The Varta platform was designed after the outbreak of the conflict with Russian-backed rebels in 2014 as the Ukrainian armed forces lacked a vehicle in the mine-resistant, ambush-protected (MRAP) category and was over-reliant on vehicles such as the BTR-70 armoured personnel carrier. Polyakov explained that Ukrainian Armor was focused on civilian armoured vehicles until 2014, and after it showed the Varta to the Ministry of the Interior, the vehicle entered trials. After the “positive results of the tests, it was tested in the combat area”. Development continued and the vehicle can now be used to transport and direct a squad of UAVs.

In this configuration, the Varta would carry a single reconnaissance UAV and three combat UAVs all manufactured by Chezara. The reconnaissance UAV would be used to locate enemy ammunition stores or other materiel. The combat drones would then be used to carry bomblets to the target and destroy the equipment. Polyakov hopes that this system, which is due to enter trials in two months, “will change the situation in east Ukraine; by detecting and destroying ammunition, it will affect events without harming people”.

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