Ukrainian forces in Donetsk received the VALK-1 reconnaissance UAV model that can operate in all weather conditions, including rain, snow or fog.
“Four sets of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) capable of operating in all weather conditions have been transferred to us,” said Vadym Filashkin, leader of the military administration appointed by Ukraine in Donetsk province. , said late last week, adding that this is the VALK-1 model.
Mr. Filashkin emphasized that the VALK-1 UAV “can clearly see the enemy on the battlefield”, even in conditions of “ice, rain, snow or dense fog”. “This is a technological achievement for Ukraine,” the official emphasized.
According to the manufacturer War Birds, the VALK-1 reconnaissance UAV has a takeoff weight of 3.7 kg, a flight speed of 60 km/h, a range of 45 km and a maximum operating time of 120 minutes.
This device uses inertial navigation technology combined with GPS satellite positioning, so it can still fly despite being jammed by the electronic warfare system. The UAV body is made from EPP plastic, carbon fiber and composite, and can withstand fire from light weapons. It is capable of operating when the outdoor temperature drops to -27 degrees Celsius.
According to Samuel Bendett, an expert at the US-based Center for Naval Analysis (CNA), VALK-1’s ability to operate in all weather conditions is an “important step forward” for Ukrainian forces, helping them Can operate in extremely harsh and unpredictable winter conditions.
“However, it remains to be seen whether this UAV model can operate exactly as Ukraine claims in the next few months,” he said.
UAVs, especially first-person view (FPV) models, are currently one of the main weapons in the Ukrainian battlefield, used by both sides with great frequency on the battlefield thanks to the advantages of low cost and ease of production. appears and can cause great damage, even to heavy equipment such as tanks and armored vehicles.
However, analysts believe that the combat effectiveness of UAVs will be significantly reduced in winter, especially low-cost models such as FPV. Low temperatures cause it to run out of battery quickly, while sleet and fog can hinder UAV control, as they often cover the camera and make it difficult for the operator to see the target. Extremely cold weather can also freeze the UAV’s propellers.
Russia seems to have prepared in advance to deal with weather problems in winter. Edward Bagdasarian, head of the Russian defense company Aerocon, said last September that UAVs produced in this country have been thoroughly refined and tested to ensure that their performance does not decrease in cold weather.