Ukraine: Entrenched soldier takes on armoured vehicle
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Ukrainians are using drones made of cardboard and rubber bands to take on Russian forces. At least 100 of the drones are being sent to Ukraine each month from Australia. They give Kyiv’s soldiers the ability to drop small bombs, care packages and carry out reconnaissance.
Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, and Australian defence minister Richard Marles viewed the drones at the Australian International Airshow on Thursday.
Mr Myroshnychenko said: “It looks like something that kids would play with but when you see what it can do it’s really amazing. They have been very good at inflicting lots of damage on the enemy.”
The drones are made by a company called Sypaq, an engineering company based in Melbourne.
They have been designed to be expendable in conflict, but Ukrainians have been able to use the same drone for as many as 60 flights.
Engineers constructed the drones with was-coated carboard and heavy-duty rubber.
They are directed using a military-grade guidance system that requires no user input once in the air.
They cost anywhere between £564 and £2,800 each.
Ross Osborne, chief engineer at Sypaq, said the designers tried to ensure anyone could use the drones.
He said: “Ukraine was already a very capable UAS [unmanned aerial system] customer but a customer that doesn’t speak the best English. They’ve been able to take our system with no training from us, just instructions and videos, and deploy them really successfully.”
Ukrainian and Russian forces continue to fight, with the east of Ukraine the setting of the most intense combat.
Many western allies have sent a wide array of weapons to Kyiv, including anti-tank missiles and tanks themselves.
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