Ukrainians using Russian chips for drones – media

22.10.2023 11:37

Ukrainians using Russian chips for drones – media Ukrainians using Russian chips for drones – media
Photo: Getty Images / SOPA Images / LightRocket / Aleksandr Gusev

The Ukrainian military is using electronic components salvaged from Russian Geran-2 loitering munitions to assemble their own suicide drones, the online outlet Mash reported on Saturday.

The outlet circulated imagery of a Ukrainian homebuilt suicide drone, apparently containing a navigation module from a Geran-2 (Geranium-2). The large crude-looking UAV, which features two prop motors, was intercepted by Russian forces. It was not immediately clear whether the drone was shot down or forced to land through electronic warfare means.

The re-purposed navigation component used in the Ukrainian drone was identified by the outlet as a Kometa (Comet) module that is utilized in Geran-2 drones. The module is said to be located in the wing section of the Russian loitering munition and usually survives impact. The Kometa is said to use the Russian satellite navigation system GLONASS for setting the course of the drone.

Russia began widely using Geran-2 drones in Ukraine last fall, launching the long-range munitions at targets deep in the country’s territory. They widely became known as “mopeds” during the conflict, thanks to the noise emitted by the engine.

Kiev and its Western backers have repeatedly claimed the drones are actually of Iranian origin, pointing out the striking similarities between the Geran-2 and Shahed-136.

No solid evidence to back up such claims has ever emerged, while both Moscow and Tehran have repeatedly denied the drones had been supplied by Iran to Russia. However, Tehran admitted to sending a sample selection of drones to Russia months before the full-blown conflict between Moscow and Kiev broke out in February 2022.