Thursday, June 8, 2023

Ex-captain of legendary An-225 donates drones to Ukrainian Army

A former captain of what was once the largest cargo airplane in the world, the one-of-a-kind Antonov An-225 Mriya, has donated surveillance drones to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Captain Dmytro Antonov, the chief pilot for Antonov Airlines, helped to raise funds for the Leleka surveillance unmanned aircraft for the Ukrainian military.

In partnership with the Come Back Alive Foundation, Dmytro Antonov handed over four Leleka 100 drones to the 43rd Artillery Brigade.


“Thanks to them, we now have more “eyes” and our Pions and PzH 2000s will be able to accurately hit enemy vehicles,” the Artillery Brigade said in a Facebook post.

The Leleka-100, also known as Ciconia, is a small unmanned aircraft system designed and manufactured by Ukraine-based unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) manufacturer Production-Innovative Company Deviro.

As noted by the company, the main advantage of the system is advanced inertial navigation, which allows working in harsh conditions and in the absence of GPS. The system can be equipped with electro-optical and infrared payloads. It provides constant intelligence (both day and night), surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), even in most extreme conditions. The aircraft can be deployed from land and waterborne platforms for both civilian and military operations.

Leleka-100 has realized the conception of automatized control during all flight, which makes the job of operator much easier and allows focusing attention on the analysis of information that comes from the UAV.

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Executive Editor


Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov is the editor-in-chief of Defence Blog. He is a journalist, an accredited defense adviser and a consultant. He graduated in business management and worked at leading European defense companies before becoming a military journalist. read more