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13 Aug, 2023 08:19

Ukraine to get German drones – Bild

Rheinmetall will deliver the first Luna NG reconnaissance UAVs by the end of the year, the media outlet claims
Ukraine to get German drones – Bild

One of Germany’s leading defense contractors, Rheinmetall, is set to provide Ukraine with its state-of-the-art reconnaissance drones in the coming months, Bild newspaper has reported.

The Luna NG system boasts a range of several hundred kilometers, and its future iterations are expected to be able to carry munitions.

On Saturday, Bild reported that the deliveries on behalf of the German state would take place by the end of the year.

The Luna NG (New Generation) is Rheinmetall’s newest UAV system, which can be used not only for reconnaissance purposes but also to provide 4G wireless broadband and to listen in on or disrupt communications.

According to the media outlet, the drone’s maximum operating altitude is 5km (3.1 miles) and it can cover hundreds of kilometers.

The system consists of a ground control station, a launching catapult, a truck, and several UAVs.
Bild claimed that later versions of the Luna NG will be able to carry ammunition, though the ones destined for Ukraine will reportedly not have strike capabilities.

Such drones will also be commissioned by Germany’s own military once officials define rules of engagement for this type of weaponry, the article added.

Speaking to Der Spiegel magazine last month, Rheinmetall CEO Armin Papperger announced that a repair facility for Leopard 2 tanks and other German-made military hardware supplied to Kiev would start operating after this summer.

The German arms manufacturer first revealed these plans back in March, saying it was ready to invest $200 million in a production and repair facility on Ukrainian soil.

Since then, several Russian officials, including Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Security Council Dmitry Medvedev and Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, have warned that such facilities would be Moscow’s prime targets should Berlin go ahead with the plan.

However, Papperger has insisted that his company “will not be dissuaded from helping [Ukraine].” He expressed confidence that Kiev’s military had “effective capabilities to defend [themselves] against attacks on sensitive targets.

Bild claimed earlier that Rheinmetall’s tank-manufacturing plant in Ukraine would be capable of producing as many as 400 units of hardware annually.

Meanwhile, Die Welt reported in June that the Dusseldorf-based defense contractor had received 18% more orders in 2022 than in the previous year. The media outlet claimed that the company was planning to significantly ramp up production, expecting double-digit sales growth in the coming years.

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