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Competition opens to supply thousands of UAS to Ukraine

4th June 2024 - 10:50 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


Thousands of UAS have been committed or supplied to Ukrainian forces. (Photo: Kyiv Regional Military Administration)

On 15 February it was announced that the UK and Latvia would jointly lead a capability coalition, which will see thousands of UAS supplied to Ukraine, including first-person view (FPV) UAS.

The UK and Latvia have opened the bidding for companies to supply FPV UASs to Ukraine through the Drone Capability Coalition, an effort which aims to produce FPV UAVs at scale by leveraging the manufacturing capability of Western industry.

The coalition noted that FPV UASs had “proven highly effective on the battlefield since Russia’s full-scale invasion [of Ukraine], providing Ukrainian operators with situational awareness to target enemy positions, armoured vehicles, and ships with explosive ordnance”.

Bids will be accepted from any countries within the coalition which consists of the UK, Latvia, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and Ukraine.

Systems will be selected and evaluated before contracts are placed. More competitions will be expected to take place through to 2024 which will build on the lessons learned from the first effort.

Many thousands of UAS have been used by both sides in the Ukraine-Russia war.

In April 2024 it was announced that the Kyiv Regional Military Administration (RMA) had sent hundreds more UAS to Ukraine’s 72nd Mechanised Brigade and the Lithuanian government would purchase approximately 3,000 Lithuanian-made UAS for use by Ukrainian forces.

In November 2023, Shephard reported that Ukraine had sent more than 2,000 homegrown drones to its forces, alongside 3,000 FPV UAS.

Shephard Defence Insight understood that as many as 800 Switchblade 600 and Switchblade 300 UAS have been supplied to Ukraine by the US Government. Based on the US DoD’s comment that more than 700 Switchblade 300 units have been delivered to Ukraine and AeroVironment's statement that the Switchblade 600 would outnumber the 300 in October 2023, it has been estimated that 800 Switchblade 600 units have been supplied to Ukraine.

Shephard's Eurosatory 2024 coverage is sponsored by:

BAE Systems
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