In the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, Russian drones are believed to have killed Ukrainian servicemen. However, a recent video demonstrates that efficient precision drones are not as sophisticated as one might dare say.
A Ukrainian soldier disassembles a Russian military surveillance drone known as the Orlan-10 type that fell on Ukrainian territory, according to a video released by Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense. The dismantling exposes an astonishingly simple design powered by a low-end Canon DSLR camera.
The soldier remarks on how unexpectedly low-tech the military drone is – observers quickly point out that certain features of it resemble a hobbyist RC aeroplane project rather than a high-tech piece of military spying technology.
The soldier discovered that the primary camera utilised for image capture is a Canon EOS Rebel T6i (AKA 750D), a DSLR camera released in 2015 with a retail price of $750 but now worth around $300 to $400 on the resale market.
A hook-and-loop fastener strip secures the camera to a board. The camera’s mode dial has been locked with glue, preventing the camera’s shooting mode from being unintentionally switched mid-flight.
The fuel tank lid on the top of the drone hints that it was built out of a plastic bottle. Various sections of the drone are also held together with duct tape.
The Orlan-10 costs between $87,000 and $120,000 per unit, according to UNIAN, a Ukrainian media outlet.
“The Orlan-10 is developed by Russian-based Special Technological Center Ltd.” UNIAN wrote. “The hull and the engine are made in Russia, and its electronic components come from Taiwan.
“Russia often uses this model in Donbas for reconnaissance and adjustment of artillery fire.”
Some electronic components of the drone appeared to be manufactured in Japan.
In March, Canon Europe said that it would limit new product shipments to Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine. Still, the action would have little impact on whether Russia uses Canon cameras in future drones.