Russia Tests FPV Drone Carrier in Ukraine

Pchelka carries 7 FPV UAVs in its belly and releases them over enemy positions.
  • bureau
  • 09:26 AM, March 22, 2024
  • 2020
Russia Tests FPV Drone Carrier in Ukraine
Pchelka (Bee) FPV drone carrier

A drone that carries 7 FPV UAVs in its belly and releases them over enemy positions has been deployed in Ukraine, Russian media reported.

Called "Pchelka" (“Bee”), the drone carrier is powered by an internal combustion engine, allowing it to hover for extended periods. After releasing its FPV UAV payload, it remains in the sky, acting as a signals repeater.

Developers explain that “Bee” is a hybrid of an airplane and a copter. It takes off like a UAV but flies like an aircraft-type drone. Equipped with an internal combustion engine, it simplifies recharging in the field and extends the operating range. Additionally, the Bee serves as a signal repeater, enhancing the range of FPV drones.

FPVs in Ukraine War

Until recently, the advantage in drone numbers was with the Ukrainian Armed Forces. However, due to the efforts of Russian enterprises, drone production has been ramped up to meet frontline requirements.

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.

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