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Civilian Drones Help Ukraine Ready for Conflict as Donations Pour In

civilian drone Ukraine Autel's newest drone EVO II EnterpriseCivilian Drones Help Ukraine Prepare for Conflict: Donations of Evo II Pros and More for Assisting Ukrainian Special Forces

by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby

Autel Drones are among the most popular platforms being distributed.  The Ukrainian military recently received an EVO II Pro, donated by a private charity as a replacement for another EVO that had been lost in a prior operation. This is only one of many recent donations, as private investors, businesses, and charities have regularly been providing all manner of supplies and support to Ukrainian soldiers and militia groups. In 2021, crowdfunding site People’s Project tweeted pictures of EVO II drones in Ukraine, noting that some models mounted with thermal imaging cameras were in use with special operations forces. The Autel Robotics EVO II Pro drone was designed for civilian and law enforcement use, not Ukrainian special operations forces.

Civilian Drones for Ukraine – Cross Over Tech

“This is one of the best civilian drones,” said Timur Kobzar, a volunteer working for the Igor Kononenko Charitable Foundation, in an interview with Ukranews. “Electronic warfare has little effect on it.”

Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) have been serving a crucial role in providing surveillance and reconnaissance for the military forces facing Russian-backed separatists in the Donetsk region. SUAS are utilized mainly to scout enemy positions, track movements, and pinpoint the location of artillery positions, according to Chinese news outlet Touiato.

Frontline use of drones has been driving a new wave of development and innovation on Ukraine’s homefront. When the conflict between Ukraine and Russian-backed rebels began in 2014, Ukraine had no drones in its inventory.

“Ukraine has managed to punch above its military weight in the conflict by turning to its world-renowned aerospace industry,” wrote John Wendle in a 2018 Smithsonian article. “The battle space has become much more complex, pressuring basement gadgeteers to become increasingly innovative. They have begun to develop combat drones and tactics that surpass those found elsewhere in the world.”

The article also quoted a Lieutenant Colonel from the U.S. Army National Guard, sent to advise the Ukrainian command-and-control program. “In the last two years since this organization has been set up, they’ve rapidly advanced from using dirigibles or balloons to do reconnaissance to building their own UAV systems.”

Read more about Autel EVO, and short range reconnaissance UAVs.

Ian attended Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he is now contributing to DroneLife as a staff writer.