A startup in Western Ukraine has developed an anti-drone gun it says can drop Russian craft over two miles away, making the locally produced device a potentially lifesaving defense asset for troops battling repurposed Russian consumer UAVs.
Kvertus Technology is the company behind the Antidron KVS G-6 anti-drone system that company technology director Yaroslav Filimonov says has already been delivered to Ukraine forces fighting invading Russian soldiers. Unlike more complex platforms that use microwave or even laser emissions to fry hostile aerial craft, the Antidron KVS G-6 relies on radio waves to jam UAVs’ internal communications components, essentially stranding the craft until Ukraine troops can capture it.
“We are not damaging the drone, (but) with communication lost, it just loses coordination and doesn’t know where to go,” Filimonov said in a Radio Free Europe video report that provided details about invention. “The drone lands where it is jammed, or can be carried away by the wind because it’s uncontrollable. Our military can take it, look where it came from, the video and photos it took, and read all the data.”
In addition to both curtailing Russian reconnaissance and intelligence snooping and allowing Ukraine forces to discover what kind of data that had netted, the anti-drone gun may also save lives. Indeed, though some of their methods to transform consumer UAVs into munitions-dropping attack platforms have been pretty lame, invading Russian units have been just as active in using store bought craft in the war as Ukraine has – often with deadly results.
Filimonov says about 80 of the devices have been delivered to Ukraine forces since the war began, that flow possibly limited by the tech’s relatively high $12,000 cost. Though most (ballpark) comparable alternatives on Western markets offer no online price lists, those that do run from around $4,000 to $10,000. A short-lived ad last year for a drone-jamming gun on Amazon was on offer for $5,800 before vanishing.
Many of those cheaper options, however, do not have the 2.1 mile range of the Antidron KVS G-6, which more than doubles some of the other priced platforms found. That extra distance might be well worth the price to Ukraine forces using anti-drone tech to ground incoming Russian UAVs in time.
Another big advantage of the Kvertus Technology unit in such critical situations is its simplicity.
“The main objective of this device is to save the lives of our soldiers in the trenches,” says Filimonov. “There’s only one button – on and off – and the soldier can’t make a mistake, even in a stressful situation.”
Despite its hefty price tag, an additional 100 of the anti-drone guns have already been ordered by what Filimonov calls “volunteer organizations, donors and businesses” intent on providing Ukraine troops new defenses against Russian aerial assets. Each one weighs just over 13 pounds, and can operate for 30 minutes before needing a recharge.