Against a more powerful enemy, Ukraine continues to innovate for battlefield advantage, as news was released about a new, domestically developed drone that is a project supported by a Ukrainian tennis star turned soldier.

In an example of “smarts beat strength,” a new Ukrainian-made SpyGun unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV or drone) is being tested in combat situations, the press service of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense (HUR) said on its Facebook page.

 

“After tests in the rear, the new Ukrainian UAV SpyGun was transferred to the combat zone for further testing,” the Ministry said.

“The SpyGun drone is designed for deep reconnaissance, but, if necessary, it can also be used to adjust fire,” it said.

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It is reported that the UAV was created by Ukrainian engineers and designers on the initiative of entrepreneur Yuriy Golyk and highly ranked former tennis player, and now a soldier of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Serhiy Stakhovsky.

Stakhovsky, who returned from Dubai and volunteered immediately after the start of the Russian invasion, was once Ukraine’s “top racket” in men’s professional tennis. He told the story of “swapping his tennis racket for a gun” in his interview with Kyiv Post in our studio earlier this week.

“The main dream for all of us is to win,” Stakhovsky said in the interview.

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The Ministry of Defense described the overall SpyGun complex as featuring:

·      two UAVs and a ground control station.

·      a high level of protection against electronic warfare (EW) interference.

·      an operating range of up to 50 kilometers.

·      a system of automatic return to the take-off point.

·      high aerodynamic efficiency that allows flying a chosen route with the engine turned off to save battery power.

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·      flight time without landing of 120 to 160 minutes.

·      maximum flight height of 1,500 meters and working height of between 500 to 600 meters.

·      speed up to 90 kilometers per hour.

·      advanced camera system.

“The SpyGun UAV is relatively inexpensive and quick to manufacture with a simple body design that allows the SpyGun to be stealthy in the sky during operation,” the Ministry said.

Last month, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine announced that to date it had adopted or commissioned 28 models of UAVs of various types from Ukrainian manufacturers, Voice of America reported.

Currently, there are more than 40 companies that have contracts with the Ukrainian overnment for the production of drones.

It has recently been suggested by its Minister for Digital Transformation, Mikhailo Fedorov, that Ukraine is now the world’s leader in drone technology, including aerial, naval and ground types.

“For its part, the Government has allocated $1.1 billion this year, which we will invest in Ukrainian manufacturers of drones,” Denis Shmyhal, the country’s Prime Minister recently said.

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“We have removed customs barriers for the import of spare parts and complete sets. The profit share of UAV manufacturers has been raised to 25 percent, and a decision has been made that will facilitate the mass production of ammunition for drones,” he added.

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