On Monday, German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall announced that it is preparing to send its LUNA NG reconnaissance drone to Ukraine as part of Germany’s latest military aid package, announced on the same day. Delivery is expected by the end of 2023.
The number of drones to be sent was not announced, but a representative of Germany’s Ministry of Defense commented that procurement costs for the drone system were in the “low double-digit millions of euros,” which would suggest perhaps $15 million to $20 million.
The LUNA UAVs belong to a class of advanced medium-size high-altitude reconnaissance drones. Precise unit costs for the LUNA NG could not be found, but similar advanced medium reconnaissance drones were in the $300,000 to $400,000 per unit range. If procurement costs were around $15 million, this would suggest the delivery of around 40 to 50 units.
Compared to the low-cost, small, low-altitude quad-rotary drones used for front-line observation, the LUNA is a completely different beast.
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