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Ukraine conflict: Ukraine to receive new UASs from Rheinmetall

The Luna NG reconnaissance UAS – constructed using glass- and carbon-fibre-reinforced plastics to give it a low acoustic, thermal, and radar profile – is being supplied to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The German and Pakistan armed forces are also operating the system. (Rheinmetall AG)

Ukraine will receive new Luna NG (next generation) reconnaissance unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) from Rheinmetall.

The delivery is part of a EUR700 million (USD765 million) military aid package for Ukraine pledged by the German government at the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, in July, the company announced on 14 August.

The order is in the low double-digit million-euro range with deliveries expected over the course of the year.

Rheinmetall had not responded to Janes regarding the number of units being delivered to Ukraine at the time of publication.

Luna NG is a UAS suitable for short-range battlefield reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition (RSTA) missions. Typically, a Luna NG comprises 10 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), two launch catapults, and two vehicle-mounted ground-control stations. A total of 14 individuals are required to operate the collective system.

The UAV has a 110 kg take-off weight, a 12 hour endurance, and a range of more than 150 km that can be increased with a satellite communications payload. The system can be remotely controlled or follow pre-programmed routes and is launched by a cable string catapult and retrieved via standard mobile net recovery. It also has automatic parachute landing capabilities.

Up to three different payloads can be equipped on the UAV, these include synthetic aperture radar (SAR); hyperspectral and high-resolution digital photo or video cameras; light detection and ranging (LIDAR) and electronic warfare sensors; landmine detectors; radio relay; an automatic identification system (AIS); and a radio frequency (RF) jammer.

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