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UK firm upgrades Ukraine drones to outwit Russian jamming

By developing alternative radio link algorithms, the UK firm aims to make it harder for Russia to jam signals controlling Ukraine’s surveillance drones.
Staff of British firm working on the upgrading drones for Ukraine. Credit: Reuters
UK firm upgrades Ukraine drones to outwit Russian jamming

British engineers technologically modernize drones for Ukraine to make them more resistant to Russian electronic warfare

A British firm called Evolve Dynamics is working on upgrades that could counter Russia’s electronic warfare capabilities against Ukraine’s reconnaissance drones, Reuters reported on 28 March.

“It’s a constant ping-pong game between adversaries,” said Mike Dewhirst, the company’s chief executive.

By developing alternative radio link algorithms, Evolve Dynamics aims to make it harder for Russia to jam signals controlling Ukraine’s surveillance drones.

Both sides have increasingly utilized electronic warfare systems designed to disrupt Russian drone communications frequencies.

According to Dewhirst, there have been 85 upgrades to Evolve’s Sky Mantis drones over the last two-and-a-half years to stay ahead. The company directly supplies Ukrainian military units with parts and software to modify the drones when possible. “We’re adding technology to existing drones, modifying them. It might be a software change, a hardware change,” Dewhirst told Reuters.

This is reportedly part of an international effort by Ukraine’s allies to support its drone program, which ‘Ukraine hopes will offset Russia’s larger resources.’

Currently, around 200 companies in Ukraine produce unmanned systems, with approximately 50 of them having already obtained permits from the Ministry of Defense and supplying various drones to the army.

Ukrainian online military media outlet Militarnyi reported on 27 March that the Kyiv City authorities are planning to establish a municipal enterprise to produce unmanned aerial vehicles.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on 4 March that Ukraine has “ambitious plans to construct numerous defense manufacturing plants in the country.”

In a recent announcement, Shmyhal emphasized that 50% of the budget for arms procurement will be allocated to support domestic producers. This initiative aligns with Ukraine’s broader strategy to enhance its defense capabilities and reduce dependency on foreign arms imports.

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