Cutting-edge Ukrainian-produced SAKER SCOUT drones equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) technology and advanced optics promise to enhance the effectiveness of Ukrainian troops by detecting enemy targets often missed by the human eye, even when hidden under camouflage.
The Ministry of Defense has officially greenlit the deployment of the advanced, home-grown drone system for Ukraine’s Armed Forces (AFU), announcing the move via its Telegram channel on Monday, Sept. 4.
Using its advanced optics and AI tech, the drone system autonomously detects and pinpoints enemy equipment, even when concealed under camouflage, and instantly relays this critical information, including geolocation coordinates, to command posts for swift decision-making. The new system reduces the risks associated with human error, as operators may not always discern all details.
The SAKER SCOUT drone system comprises a flagship reconnaissance drone and several FPV-type [first-person view] kamikaze drones, which can be coordinated by the flagship drone. The system boasts a flight range of up to 10 kilometers.
The drone can be equipped with infrared optics for nighttime operations, employs an inertial guidance system to bolster resistance against electronic warfare (EW), and seamlessly integrates with all situational awareness/data link systems available within the AFU, including the Delta system.
The Ministry of Defense said official approval for use by the AFU was fast-tracked to meet the needs of troops on the front lines as soon as possible.
In July of last year, the Polish publication Onet reported on the Ukrainian-developed SAKER AI-based system for drones.
“The geographical coordinates of these machines are automatically transmitted to the headquarters. The direct transfer of data from the drone to the operator in the field and to command staff in other locations is a capability we did not have at the outset of the Russian invasion,” the developers told Onet.
They also said, “The human eye of a drone operator may not capture every detail, but artificial intelligence never misses a hidden enemy, whether under trees or camouflage nets. It may sometimes identify multiple targets, leaving the final decision to the commanding officers.”
Each drone in the system can carry up to four munitions, which it can deploy from an altitude of approximately 100 meters, covering distances of 10-15 kilometers during a single flight. Typically, the first bomb serves as a test, allowing for adjustments to be made for a more accurate strike with the second bomb.
According to the developers, four grenades are generally sufficient to eliminate two targets. Additionally, the UAV can switch to a night vision camera for improved visibility in low-light conditions.
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