Ukraine has reportedly received nearly 800 Taiwan-made Revolver 860 combat drones, dubbed “flying mortars,” to strengthen their drone armament against Russian forces.
On August 18, the Polish tech media outlet WP Tech reported that the Ukrainian military had acquired 800 Taiwan-made Revolver 860 Armed VTOL UAVs as a “donation.”
The report referred to the large quadcopter as a “flying mortar” due to its rotating drum-like bomb bay containing eight 60-millimeter mortar shells.
The spokesperson of the drone manufacturer, DronesVision, told Taiwan News that the company provides military equipment to Poland-based companies and that it cannot comment on where these firms transfer the drones next, citing “non-disclosure agreements” with its clients.
Furthermore, the spokesman emphasized that the acquisition of drones soared immediately after Russia’s military aggression began on February 24. According to a DronesVision spokesperson, supplies of their equipment have not been transported directly to Ukraine because of the current conflict between Moscow and Kyiv.
Meanwhile, a video demonstrating how the drone mechanism works is circulating online. One Twitter user dubbed this drone “carpet-bomber” because of its unique capabilities.
— M|§F|T ???? (@am_misfit) August 25, 2022
The UAV has a 1.35 meters diameter and weighs 42 kilograms. Its four arms and eight propellers allow it to fly up to 20 kilometers and remain in the air for 20 to 40 minutes when equipped with eight 60 mm mortar rounds.
According to WP Tech, the 8-position “drum” on the Taiwan-made drone can rotate and discharge one mortar shell at a time. Additionally, the UAV can be customized to carry 81 mm and 120 mm mortar shells.
Norway, UK To Donate Micro Drones
The Norwegian government said on August 24 that Norway and the United Kingdom are working together to acquire Black Hornet micro-drones for Ukraine.
The purchase, which includes shipping and training costs, is being funded through a budget established by the United Kingdom, to which Norway has donated 400 million Norwegian Krone ($41.36 million).
The drone is already used by several allied militaries, including the UK and the US, and serves the purpose of reconnaissance and target identification. The portable unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) can broadcast live, even thermal video, for 25 minutes while hovering in the air.
The drone, which weighs 33 grams and measures 168 millimeters (less than seven inches), is small, light, and extremely quiet, making it perfect for reconnaissance and target identification in highly contested and GPS-denied areas, according to the Oregon-based company.
The company is believed to have sold over 12,000 Black Hornets worldwide. The Norwegian Defense Materiel Agency inked a contract with the firm to buy an unspecified number of Black Hornets for 475 million Norwegian Krone ($48 million).
The Norwegian government will also acquire a SteelRock Nightfighter anti-drone system for Ukraine. The portable system, which costs 100 million Norwegian Krone ($10.3 million) and is made by British SteelRock Technologies, jams UAVs. This system safeguards “smaller patrols, artillery positions, and other key resources.”
Ukraine’s Quest To Acquire Latest Hardware
In July, Oleksii Reznikov, Ukraine’s defense minister, pleaded with the United States and other foreign allies to continue supplying the country with advanced armaments, referring to the battlefields as a critical “proving ground” for new weapons.
Reznikov asserted that Ukraine’s continuous resistance to Russia’s ongoing invasion demonstrated that the Kyiv military could handle the most cutting-edge and lethal weapons.
Reznikov said in a video address during an Atlantic Council event that “Ukraine is now essentially a testing ground.”
Kyiv supplies information on Russian electronic warfare, signals intelligence, air defense, and missile technology to its allies.
Reznikov added that Ukraine extensively uses American, French, and Polish artillery and Turkish drones, among other foreign-manufactured systems.
Meanwhile, on August 24, the US offered $3 billion in security assistance to Ukraine, the largest package since Russia’s full-fledged invasion began six months ago.
The package includes six additional NASAMS, munitions for those systems, 24 counter-artillery radars, 245,000 rounds of 155 mm artillery ammunition, 65,000 rounds of 120 mm mortar ammunition, laser-guided rocket systems, and support equipment for the Scan Eagle and Puma drones.
Vampire, a counter-drone system, is new to this security package. The delivery of USAI packages can typically take months or years, depending on the government contracting process, according to Colin Kahl, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, who spoke to media at the Pentagon.