Upyr FPV Thermal-Imaging Drones Handed over to Russian Troops in Ukraine

Upyr manufacturer is currently enhancing computer vision technology for autonomous interpretation of guidance and navigation towards targets.
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 12:27 PM, February 26, 2024
  • 2064
Upyr FPV Thermal-Imaging Drones Handed over to Russian Troops in Ukraine
Upyr FPV @via X

The first batches of Upyr first-person view (FPV) thermal-imaging drones have been sent to Russian troops in the special military operation area in Ukraine.

"Among the technical innovations, we have sent the first batches of Upyrs with thermal imagers. We are constantly improving the quick change of frequencies that helps bypass electronic warfare dome protection, which is a top-priority task," a spokesman for the drone manufacturer told TASS on Monday.

In the near term, the team is focused on advancing computer vision technology, allowing the drone to autonomously interpret guidance and navigate toward its target. In the short term, [we are working on] computer vision so that a drone can take guidance and then reach the target on its own,” the official said.

An FPV drone is equipped with a camera that wirelessly transmits a live video feed to goggles, a headset, a mobile device, or another display, providing the operator with a first-person view for capturing footage or still images.

Russian troops employed Upyr FPV drones for the first time in the special military operation in Ukraine in May 2023. The drones proved their worth in combat operations: they helped Russian troops wipe out enemy boats with the assault force on the Dnieper River, adversary fortifications, dugouts, and strongholds. Today, Russian troops are employing Upyr drones in all directions of the special military operation in Ukraine.

The UAV carries RPG-7 mortar grenades like PG-7VL and RKG-3M, as well as anti-tank hand grenades. It can also be armed with locally produced high-explosive fragmentation bombs. In late 2023, the flight range doubled with the introduction of the 'Udlinitel' transponder. The upgraded Upyr drone features a new video transmitter and receiver, enhancing its ability to counter electronic warfare (EW) systems designed to jam drones.

FPVs in Ukraine War

From August to December 2023, Russia employed 1,485 FPV drones, while Ukraine used 2,874. Both countries are ramping up the production of FPVs because they are cheaper and offer superior maneuverability compared to traditional drones. They are swift, making detection and interception challenging, with a carrying capacity of ~1.5 kilograms of explosives and an approximately 8-kilometer range. Parts for FPV drones are readily available in the market, originally intended for civilian use in sports racing and entertainment. The civilian market offers ready-made drones at varying prices based on technical specifications.

Ukraine's Minister of Digital Transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, has revealed that the country's defense industry is gearing up to produce over 1 million First Person View (FPV) drones in the year 2024. Fedorov emphasized the impressive surge in drone deliveries by the state, disclosing that December 2023 witnessed a staggering 50-fold increase in drone supplies compared to the entire year of 2022. This surge in production is attributed to the concerted efforts under the "Army of Drones" initiative, which covers the entire spectrum of drone operations.

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