The Ukrainian government has ordered counter-drone systems with funds received through the sale of bracelets made of pre-war Azovstal steel, Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov revealed.
Fedorov didn’t reveal the number of systems — called the “Shahed Catcher” — ordered from the 200 million Ukrainian hryvnias ($5.4 million) sale.
Ukrainian blogger and volunteer Igor Lachenkov, 23, earlier told Forbes Ukraine that the NATO system costs around 50 million Ukrainian hryvnias ($1.35 million).
He added that the system “blinds” its target, making it vulnerable to air defense.
$51M Raised for Drone Purchase
The ministry’s Army of Drones project has raised 1.9 billion Ukrainian hryvnias ($51 million) through donations, enabling Kyiv to order 1,033 drones, the minister revealed, adding that 70 percent of the order has been received and the rest will be obtained by the end of the year.
The order includes around 20 Polish FlyEye systems and AeroVironment Puma and UAV Factory Penguin reconnaissance drones, essential to direct artillery fire. The Polish Warmate strike drone and another are being ordered.
The development comes after the Russian military unleashed barrages of missiles and Iranian “kamikaze” Shahed drones on Ukrainian energy and civilian targets.
Bayraktar Counter-Drone System Coming
In a related development, the CEO of Turkish drone manufacturer Baykar recently announced that the company’s Bayraktar TB2 and Akinci drones will soon be armed with air-to-air missiles.
“Soon our Bayraktar TB2 and Akincis will have air-to-air missiles; not only to engage drones but other enemy aircraft… we are conducting our tests,” Turkish outlet Daily Sabah quoted CEO Baykar Haluk as saying on the sidelines of a defense trade fair in Istanbul.
The company signed a contract at the fair with the state-backed Turkish arms manufacturer Roketsan to install the Sungur air defense missile on the two Baykar drones.
Sungur is “proven ammunition, especially against moving targets such as helicopters and drones. Using it from our unmanned aerial vehicles as an air-to-air missile will be a game changer,” Roketsan general manager Murat Ikinci said.
The Ukrainian armed forces has deployed the TB2 in the ongoing conflict with Russia.