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Ukrainian Cardboard Drones Are Playing Havoc in Russian Territory

Ukraine is using the Australian-made Corvo Precision Payload Delivery System (PPDS) to destroy Russian aircraft behind enemy lines. The tiny war machine is shipped like a piece of furniture from IKEA. But, unlike the iconic Swedish kit furniture, the Corvo PPDS is held together solely with adhesive tape, rubber bands, and glue that is supplied with the shipment.

What's more, the Corvo PPDS boast a price tag of just $670–3,350 depending on the version and quantity. The Aussie drone has a range of 75 miles and can travel at speeds more than 35 mph for 1–3 hours. And while the Corvo can only accommodate a payload of 3 kg, Ukraine has adapted it from a surveillance drone into an explosive-packed attack drone. A few pounds of explosives is apparently enough.

Last year, Ukrainian media claimed that a squadron of16 Corvos had been used in an attack on the Kursk Vostochny Airport in Russia, with three shot down and the other 13 damaging four Su-30 and one MiG-29 aircraft, an S-300 radar, and two Pantsir air defense systems. The cardboard construction likely helped the drones evade Russian radar

Assuming the entire fleet cost around $24,000, that's some bang for your buck. Russian jet fighters costs tens of millions of dollars each.

The Australian company that makes the Corvid, SYPAQ Systems, said it sent Ukraine 100 drones per month, every month since March 2023, as part of a $20 million aid package.

The PPDS is designed to be deployed into theatre in a flat pack configuration. The soldier can assemble the system easily with minimal tools, load the payload, program the avionics module with the target location and launch the air vehicle.

Image courtesy of SYPAQ Systems.


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