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Ukraine Finds US-Supplied RQ-11B Drones Are Easy to Jam, Hack

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Exclusive: U.S.-Supplied Drones Disappoint Ukraine At the Front Lines (excerpt)

(Source: Reuters; published Dec 21, 2016)

By Phil Stewart


When using RQ-11 mini drones supplied by the United States on operational missions, Ukraine has found that they are easily jammed and hacked, and are only suitable for uncontested environments. (US Army photo)


WASHINGTON --- Millions of dollars' worth of U.S.-supplied drones that Kiev had hoped would help in its war against Russian-backed separatists have proven ineffective against jamming and hacking, Ukrainian officials say.

The 72 Raven RQ-11B Analog mini-drones were so disappointing following their arrival this summer that Natan Chazin, an advisor to Ukraine's military with deep knowledge of the country's drone program, said if it were up to him, he would return them.

"From the beginning, it was the wrong decision to use these drones in our (conflict)," Chazin, an advisor to the chief of the general staff of Ukraine's armed forces, told Reuters.

The hand-launched Ravens were one of the recent highlights of U.S. security assistance to Ukraine, aiming to give Kiev's military portable, light-weight, unarmed surveillance drones that were small enough to be used widely in the field. They are made by AeroVironment.

But they appear to have fallen short in a battle against the separatists, who benefit from far more sophisticated military technology than insurgencies the West has contended with in Afghanistan, Iraq or Syria. (end of excerpt)


Click here for the full story, on the Reuters website.

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