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Behold this drone-dropping rifle with two-mile range
Confuses rather than destroys unmanned aerials to better bring back intel, says Ukrainian designer
What's said to be a Ukrainian-made long-range anti-drone rifle is one of the latest weapons to emerge from Russia's ongoing invasion of its neighbor.
The Antidron KVS G-6 is manufactured by Kvertus Technology, in the western Ukraine region of Ivano-Frankivsk, whose capital of the same name has twice been subjected to Russian bombings during the war. Like other drone-dropping equipment, we're told it uses radio signals to interrupt control, remotely disabling them, and it reportedly has an impressive 3.5 km (2.17 miles) range.
"We are not damaging the drone. With communication lost, it just loses coordination and doesn't know where to go. The drone lands where it is jammed, or can be carried away by the wind because it's uncontrollable," Kvertus' director of technology Yaroslav Filimonov said. Because the downed drones are unharmed, they give Ukrainian soldiers recovering them a wealth of potential intelligence, he added.
In a Radio Free Europe video demonstrating the rifle's claimed capabilities, Filimonov said the gun's simple aim-and-shoot design was made to be easy to operate "even in a stressful situation." All of the rifle's components are hidden inside a plastic frame with a battery attached in a fashion similar to a magazine. The gun can disrupt 2.4GHz and 5GHz remote control and video transmission, GPS L2 (and L1) and GLONASS signals, according to the maker. It also has disk, amplified, and directional antennae.
Eighty KVS G-6s have been manufactured since the beginning of the Russian invasion, Kvertus said, and over 100 more have been ordered. Filimonov said many of the orders have come from "volunteer organizations, donors and businesses buying our devices for military units fighting at the front."
We note that Kvertus has been offering the Antidron device since at least January this year, prior to the start of Russia's illegal and bloody invasion of Ukraine in late February. The rifle costs $12,000 apiece, and looks more solid than the janky homemade Russian one that popped up in May.
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Drones have been central to the Ukrainian and Russian efforts in the war, with both sides fielding craft for various purposes. "It's a new kind of war," Filimonov said. "Many tasks are done by drones, like correcting artillery fire, dropping explosives or reconnaissance."
Along with operating its own aerial drones, Ukraine has also fielded a remote-controlled ground drone equipped with a 7.62mm machine gun. The Guardian said the US has also supplied Ukraine with at least 700 Switchblade kamikaze drones with ranges up to 25 miles.
On the Russian side, Chinese drone maker DJI allegedly aided the Kremlin by disabling Ukrainian users' ability to detect drones with DJI's AeroScope software, while Russia was able to use the product. DJI has since suspended operations in Russia and Ukraine.
America's use of high-powered drones is also well established, and DARPA's latest plans for drone warfare could see them being recharged in flight, greatly extending operational ranges. DARPA has also considered silly-stringing drones to death. ®