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Rheinmetall confirms Luna drone system for Ukraine in 2023

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk August 14, 2023 7:44 PM 2 min read
Soldiers of the German Armed Forces check a Luna drone at the German Armed Forces Camp Castor. (Photo by Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall confirmed on Aug. 14 that it will be ready to deliver a Luna New Generation reconnaissance drone system to Ukraine over the course of 2023.

The system comprises a ground control station and several drones, capable of detecting and classifying objects in real time, the arms producer said.

It also includes the launch catapult and optional net equipment for catching the drones when they land, as well as equipment for rapid repair. The entire system is mounted on an HX truck with a swap body system made by Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles, the company clarified.

According to Rheinmetall's statement, the price of the order for the new drones is set at a "low double-digit million euro amount" and comes as part of a larger military aid package initiated by the German government in July 2023.

"Rheinmetall is therefore making another important contribution to enhancing the effectiveness of the Ukrainian military through advanced technology," the company said in its press release.

"The LUNA NG has already clocked on several thousand hours of flying time, to include active deployment."

The German newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported on Aug. 12 that Rheinmetall is planning the delivery of the Luna drone system to Ukraine by the end of 2023.

Drones are integrated into every phase of fighting on both sides - Russian and Ukrainian, with extensive fleets, air defenses, and jamming systems.

A report from the U.K.-based Conflict Armament Research published in early August indicated that Russia has started making copies of attack drones obtained from Iran in the previous year and has been using them against Ukraine.

Media: Rheinmetall purchases 50 Leopard 1 tanks, will supply 30 to Ukraine
The German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall was identified as the previously unknown buyer who recently purchased 50 Leopard 1 tanks from the Belgian company OIP Land Systems, the Handelsblatt newspaper reported on Aug. 8.
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