The hobbyists have relevant experience, because they have already developed a few similar machines. However, these earlier designs were all for peaceful purposes. The first Rivne drone is expected to be completed in a few weeks, then they aim to have it tested, its operators trained, and the machine moved east, to the anti-terrorist operation area. This design will be much cheaper than its foreign counterparts, because designers are working for free. Some parts have been provided by benefactors, but most electronics have to be bought, so the Rivne volunteers are still raising money.
“A group of volunteers called ‘The Army Aid – Rivne’ ordered a drone from France in early August. It is in Poland now and will soon cross the Ukrainian border. However, local model airplane hobbyists stepped forward as well. They looked for opportunities to construct the required device before, and contacted the Donbas battalion on this issue,” information coordinator of the civic campaign “The Army Aid – Rivne” Yurii Diuh told us. “Designers studied working models and coordinated technical aspects. The work is currently underway on the first Rivne drone. It is made to the military’s order for reconnaissance needs. The device will have a range of 10 kilometers, move at speeds up to 100 kilometers per hour with ceiling of 3 kilometers. We want to equip the drone with modern surveillance devices. Total development cost is almost 28,000 hryvnias. We have transferred some to the design team and are raising the rest.”
The volunteers’ recent acquisitions include motor vehicles for the army, the primary purpose of which is medical evacuation. Rivne continues to hold fundraisers to help the army which involve local businesses and organizations, while the volunteers organize charitable lotteries and collect food, medicines, and other essentials for soldiers.