TechGermany supports Ukraine with advanced LUNA NG drone system

Germany supports Ukraine with advanced LUNA NG drone system

LUNA NG system on the catapult
LUNA NG system on the catapult
Images source: © Rheinmetall

7:38 AM EST, December 9, 2023

As part of its military aid package for Ukraine, facing Russian aggression, the German government has included its most advanced unmanned flying system. Alongside the LUNA NG drones and reconnaissance drones, the package also contains first aid kits, vehicles, and weapons.

The latest aid package for Ukraine from Germany includes 100,000 first aid kits, 14 vehicles, as well as weapons and ammunition. Apart from 10 reconnaissance drones and a set of spare parts, the German government has dispatched its most advanced German unmanned flying system for monitoring adversary’s activities. The LUNA NG system had been committed to the Ukrainians as early as this August.

Understanding the Luna NG system

The Luna NG system consists of multiple ultralight reconnaissance drones and a ground control station that supervises their operation. Add-ons include a launch catapult, specialized nets for safely capturing drones during landing, and a repair kit for the most common damages. All these components are accommodated within a specially adapted MAN HX truck.

The fuselage of the unmanned LUNA NG drone is constructed from lightweight, robust carbon fiber. The German-designed structure stands strong even under harsh weather conditions. Cameras, optimal or infrared, can be mounted on the drone to survey the surroundings. Considering the light framework (starting at under 220 lbs) and equipped with the StaCom system, the drone can stay airborne for over 12 hours and can travel up to 93 miles from the control station. The drone reaches speeds of 50-93 mph.

Luna NG: More than just a reconnaissance drone

Rheinmetall, the company behind the development of LUNA NG, has also proposed a concept based on the same structure—a combat drone that carries guided kamikaze drones in its internal bay. The envisioned combat variant of the drone would validate target hits using its optical module.

According to public information, only one LUNA NG set has reached the Ukrainian forces, and it remains unconfirmed whether the combat version of the device will be dispatched to the frontline. This remains a possibility, as Western armament companies, to some degree, view Ukraine’s defensive war as a testing ground for new high-tech equipment.

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