Ukraine to receive Rheinmetall LUNA NG recon drones
LUNA NG (Unbemannte Nahaufklärungs-Ausstattung der Nächsten Generation or unmanned short-range reconnaissance equipment, next generation) has been ordered as part of an assistance package for Ukraine which was unveiled by the German government in July 2023.
A system comprises five UAVs, two ground control stations, maintenance and repair equipment, two launchers, and two recovery systems. For this order, the entire system is truck-mounted with a swap body system made by Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles.
The lightweight UAV can remain aloft for more than 12 hours and when fitted with optional SATCOM equipment has a datalink range of up to 300km. It has not been disclosed if the Ukrainian systems have such a capability but it is very likely. Without SATCOM, the range is believed to be 150km.
The German Army ordered four LUNA NG systems in July 2017 under a €63 million ($71.85 million) contract, which also included training and support services to meet the German Army's High-Efficiency UAV for Medium-Range Reconnaissance (HUSAR) programme. On the basis of this contract value it is likely only two systems are being supplied to Ukraine.
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