Ukraine conflict: Ukraine orders 300 UAVs

by Olivia Savage

Quantum-Systems Vector UAV has been ordered for a third time by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence. (Quantum-Systems)

Ukraine has ordered 300 additional reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from German-based Quantum-Systems.

An announcement by the company on 31 May stated the order would be the third placed by Ukraine for the Vector electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) UAV since August 2022.

A Quantum-Systems spokesperson confirmed to Janes the order was funded by the German government.

Overall, Ukraine has received 438 Vector UAVs, with 105 ordered in January 2023 and 33 in August 2022 – funded by the German government. The company is also in the process of opening a facility in Ukraine to offer user training and maintenance support.

The Vector eVTOL UAV is suitable for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) operations, including border patrol, search-and-rescue, and battlefield surveillance. The system has a wingspan of 2.8 m, a maximum take-off weight of 7.4 kg, an endurance of up to two hours, and can be fitted with either a NextVision Nighthawk2-UZ or Trillium Engineering's HD40-LV electro-optical payload.


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UK UAV maker reveals its craft in use by Ukrainian armed forces since 2023

by Sam Wise

A Windracers ULTRA UAV pictured in February 2024. (Windracers Group)

Ukraine is operating the UK-developed Windracers Uncrewed Low-cost Transport (ULTRA) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Janes has learnt.

ULTRA is a tactical UAV designed to support resupply. Speaking to Janes on 4 April, Simon Muderack, the CEO of Windracers and Distributed Avionics, revealed that its UAV has been conducting intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and supporting resupply for the Armed Forces of Ukraine since 2023.

Although Muderack did not specify exact dates or the number of aircraft provided, Janes understands the UK Ministry of Defence procured the aircraft on behalf of the Ukrainian armed forces, supplying it as aid. A defence source told Janes the procurement and supply of ULTRA is part of the UK's GBP325 million (USD413 million) UAV support programme to Ukraine.

According to Janes


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First Replicator unmanned systems delivered to US armed forces

by Zach Rosenberg

A US Army soldier launched an AeroVironment Switchblade. The loitering munition is the only system publicly identified as being selected to be part of the Replicator initiative. (DVIDS)

The first systems under the Replicator initiative, intended to manufacture small unmanned systems en masse, have been delivered, US Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks said in a 22 May statement.

“The delivery of Replicator systems to the warfighter began earlier this month,” Hicks said. “Together with the private sector and with support from Congress, the Replicator initiative is delivering capabilities at greater speed and scale while simultaneously burning down risk and alleviating systemic barriers across the department.”

The first Replicator capabilities include unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), unmanned ground vehicles, and counter-UAV equipment, according to a 6 May Department of Defense (DoD) statement. Only one such system – AeroVironment's Switchblade 600, a small loitering munition – has been publicly identified.

The programme has largely been conducted in secret, though occasional statements have revealed that the first tranche of Replicator programmes was selected in December 2023. Additional Replicator contracts are expected to be issued in boreal summer.


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BSDA 2024: ROMARM develops new family of drone-dropped munitions

by Sonny Butterworth

The complete family of Carfil's drone-dropped munitions (from left to right: 60 mm, 81 mm, 82 mm, and 120 mm), showing the polymer stabilising fins that have been used to reduce weight. (Janes/Sonny Butterworth)

Carfil, a subsidiary of Romania's state-owned ROMARM holding company, displayed a family of drone-dropped munitions at the Black Sea Defense and Aerospace (BSDA) 2024 exhibition held in Bucharest from 22 to 24 May.

Based on ROMARM's existing range of 60 mm, 81 mm, 82 mm, and 120 mm mortar bombs, the drone-dropped variants include stabilising fins manufactured from polymers to reduce their weight and different fuzes. The high-explosive (HE) warheads are unchanged.

The weights of the drone-dropped variants of these munitions were not listed by Carfil, but ROMARM's brochure lists a weight of approximately 1,500 kg for its standard 60 mm HE mortar bomb, 3,100 kg for its standard 81 mm and 82 mm HE mortar bombs, and 15 kg for its standard 120 mm mortar bomb.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/air-platforms/latest/ukraine-conflict-ukraine-orders-300-uavs

Ukraine has ordered 300 additional reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from German-based ...

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