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Ukraine Mass Producing Shahed-Like Kamikaze Drone

Kyiv-based Terminal Autonomy has been contracted to deliver 50 AQ-400 Scythe drones a month to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, with plans to scale it up to 500 in 2024.

“Our goal is to produce 1,000 units monthly,” Forbes quoted co-founder Francisco Serra-Martins as saying.

Plywood Drone

Made of “milled sheets of plywood from a network of furniture factories,” the drone is more scalable for mass production than 3D printing or other drones made of materials such as fiberglass, the outlet wrote, citing company officials.

It can cover a distance of 750 to 900 kilometers (466 to 559 miles), depending on the engine, putting a large swathe of Russian territory and all of Crimea within range.

The drone can be outfitted with domestic or imported engines.

Its cruising speed is 140 kilometers (85 miles) per hour, increasing to 200 kilometers (124 miles) per hour in the terminal stage.

AQ-400 Scythe drone. Image: Terminal Autonomy

Ukraine’s Shahed Drone

Similar to the Iranian Shahed drone, it features a 42-kilogram (92-pound) warhead, including a local mass-produced thermobaric warhead or a pair of 122mm artillery rounds that spray shrapnel, Forbes wrote, citing Serra-Martins.

Its modular bay allows a range of mission-specific payloads, and its compact design allows 30 drones to be stacked in a shipping container.

It costs $15,000 or $30,000 with guidance, and can take off from short runways, including roads, or deployed through rocket-assisted take-offs where runways are unavailable.

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