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Ukraine conflict: Draganfly tasked with UAV training, systems take on mine clearance duties

Draganfly's Commander 3 XL is operational in Ukraine. (Janes/Akshara Parakala)

Draganfly has been awarded a multi-year contract by Ukraine's Ministry of Internal Affairs to develop training programmes for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operations.

Speaking to Janes, Draganfly's chief operating officer, Paul Mullen, said the five-week training programme will help UAV operators develop their intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) mission skills, as well as those for search-and-rescue (SAR) tasks.

The company has developed the training programme with operators of Draganfly and other UAVs in Ukraine.

According to a company announcement, the contract was awarded by Ukraine's Ministry of Internal Affairs on behalf of non-governmental organisation (NGO) Heal-Corp and the Ukrainian National Academy of Internal Affairs. Mullen said the training will be provided on Draganfly UAVs, including the Draganflyer Commander2 and Commander 3 XL.

Since March 2022 Draganfly UAVs have been used to provide situational awareness and support humanitarian aid efforts, and since early 2023 they have been employed in mine detection and clearance tasks.

Mullen said the UAVs have been equipped with ground-penetrating radar (GPR), magnetometers, and multispectral and hyperspectral sensors to detect mines.

Initial tests of aircraft fitted with various sensors were conducted at Draganfly test facilities in the US, which were then followed by the integration of the GPR.

In Ukraine, the UAVs are used to collect data on the location and types of mines, and this is then analysed remotely by Draganfly personnel. The UAVs are also used to transport deactivated mines to locations for disposal.

Draganfly has also been tasked with developing a training programme for counter-UAV (CUAV) operations, but Mullen was unable to disclose details.

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