UK Trialed 3D-Printed ‘Suicide’ Drones Under Secret Ukraine Program
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) tested a range of drones to deliver to Ukraine under a clandestine program.
Under the program, five firms demonstrated their unmanned aerial systems (UAS), including “C2 [command and control] and sensor payload[s] as well as VTOL [vertical takeoff and landing] UAS and a unique 3D-printed delta-wing ‘suicide’ drone,” The War Zone revealed, quoting one of the participants at QinetiQ.
According to the outlet, the UK-based defense technology firm was to demonstrate a series of drones and technologies at the MoD’s Boscombe Down testing site.
UK repeatedly supplied “drones” to Ukraine. We do not, and we might not know for a while, just what is included. Qinetiq, which helped make the crash program of tests at Boscombe Down possible, mentions even a “unique 3D printed delta wing ‘suicide’ drone” https://t.co/WMOxNMheUg
— Gabriele Molinelli (@Gabriel64869839) February 16, 2023
The platforms and technologies tested included experimental UAS and electronic warfare systems.
The trials also included ground experiments and using an anechoic test facility, which can test a specimen’s response to radio-frequency energy and check how electronic systems and emissions interact with each other.
Part of a Wider Project
The drone program aims to “provide recommendations for uncrewed aircraft systems that could be deployed readily by the Ukrainian military,” and is part of the ministry’s wider KINDRED effort to assess weapons and equipment sent to Ukraine within four months, the outlet explained.
However, compared to KINDRED, the Future Capability Group program has a much tighter deadline of three weeks.
QinetiQ didn’t reveal the other participants’ identities in its statement, which has been removed from the company’s website since news outlets began reporting on it.