Ukraine’s ‘Sparrow-LE’ drone soars to new heights


Science and Innovation, War in the Donbas

In an airfield near Ukraine’s port city of Odesa, a new type of drone is being tested. It’s known as the ‘Sparrow-LE’.

The drone is meant to be used for surveillance. It’s equipped with cameras, navigators, and antennas to transmit data to control centers on the ground. The Sparrow-LE not only can avoid radar-detection, but can rise to an altitude of 5 kilometers, and stay in the air for 3 and a half hours at a time. Currently, it sports a control range of 40 kilometers.

“Our equipment today completely corresponds to all modern requirements for their use. It’s mobile. It’s comparable to European analogs and it’s cheaper because it’s made entirely by our engineers and made in our own factories,” says reconnaissance team lead Pavlo Hrozov.

Thirty people work at the factory where the new drones are produced. Some prepare the materials to be used in the Sparrow-LE, while others use special templates to construct the body of the unmanned aerial vehicle.

“Here, we remove the excess splatter and clean the edges so that it’ll be ready for assembly,” says a mechanic Andrei Aharkov.

The workers are able to put together three models in just a single day. It takes nearly one week to fully complete the Sparrow E model.

“All the materials we use are certified aviation materials. It’s used in other aviation products. All of these materials are used at the top aviation companies in the world,” explains the Head Engineer Andrei Lipovi.

Ukrainian drones have already struck interest with India and the United Arab Emirates. They’re planned to be used by the Ukrainian military very soon. The company’s next plans are to construct drones for naval use.

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