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Ukraine's secret 'Black Box' project revealed to be long-range attack drone

by Nate Ostiller November 16, 2023 5:52 PM 2 min read
A model of the "Beaver" long-range attack drone shown in a video released on Nov. 16, 2023. (Come Back Alive/Twitter)
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The Ukrainian secret military technology project "Black Box," was shown to be a long-range attack drone, named the "Beaver," that can fly up to 800 kilometers, Ukraine's military charity Come Back Alive announced on Nov. 16.

The Black Box project is a collaborative effort of Ukraine's military intelligence (HUR), the Come Back Alive fund, and Ukrainian blogger Ihor Lachenkov.

Details of the project were kept secret until the Nov. 16 announcement, although HUR, as along with Ukrainian intelligence officials, had hinted about what it might be in the past.

Ukrainian military chief Kyrylo Budanov said in June 2023 that more than $700 million would be contributed to the Black Box project, adding that it had already caused more than $700 million in damage to Russian forces over just the previous month.

The Beaver drone is only one of the components of the Black Box project.

Come Back Alive was founded in 2014 to provide assistance and funding for Ukraine's military. As of September 2023, it has raised over $249 million, according to its website.

The  fund's Nov. 16 announcement said that in the first eight months of 2023, the Beaver, along with other Black Box components, had caused more than $900 million in damages to Russian forces, attacking them in Crimea and other parts of occupied Ukraine, as well as in Russia.

The Beaver has struck a variety of critical targets, including Russian missile production and storage facilities, the announcement said.

Hr 15 million ($414,000) had been raised to buy vehicles that would help Ukrainian special forces get closer to occupied parts of Ukraine, as well as Russian territory, in order to increase the range of potential future attacks using the Beaver.

There have been numerous Ukrainian drone attacks on Russian territory since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, including in Moscow and other locations hundreds of kilometers from the Ukrainian border. Moscow usually blames Ukraine, while Kyiv rarely takes direct responsibility for strikes on Russian soil.

Deadly drone arms race intensifies as Ukraine, Russia embrace the future of war
At this stage of a war that could last years more, both Ukraine and Russia are getting serious with their drone game: ramping up production while always looking to come up with new innovations.

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