Bundeswehr German drones are not suitable for the OSCE mission in Ukraine



2014/10/19 • Political News

Article by: Florian Rötzer

The plan of the Bundeswehr, the unified armed forces of Germany, to supply Ukraine with drones has a setback: the winter in Ukraine is too cold for the LUNA unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) that were planned to be delivered.

The German defense minister had previiously offered to send German soldiers with drones to participate in  the OSCE mission to monitor the ceasefire at the Russian-Ukrainian border. Frenchs soldier are to participate in that mission as well, Germany is likely to send 200 soldiers, of which 150 are supposed to operate the drones.

Launch of a LUNA drone during exercise, picture by: EUCOM

The plan was to use LUNA type drones which are equipped with color and infrared cameras. The 40 kg heavy drones used by the Bundeswehr since 2000 have a operational range of up to 60 miles  and an operating time of 6-8 hours.

However, it turned out that this Bundeswehr gear would not be fully operational in Ukraine’s conditions. As it turns out, the Bundeswehr drones might not be suitable for the harsh winter in Ukraine.

As the Bild newspaper learned from the Bundeswehr, “at minus 19 degrees the UAV’s technology is at risk of getting  frozen and therefore the drones must be grounded.” The temperature at the usual operational ceiling of the drones is even much colder than that.

A LUNA drone caught with a landing-net picture by: EUCOM

CDU-defense expert Henning Otte told Bild newspaper that he is demanding to find a “quick solution” for the mission. It is not yet clear if the OSCE is going to accept  the offer of the German Ministry of Defence. It should be clarified if armed soldiers could participate in the monitoring mission, as proposed by the German side. The OSCE Secretary General, Lamberto Zannier, told Reuters yesterday that only a mandate for a civilian mission was given: “So we need to demilitarize either the drones to make them compatible with the mandate – or we need to come to a new decision in Vienna, which would authorize me to add a military component to the mission “


Translated by: Rafael Szlom
Source: heise.de

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  • Wellenzaehler

    Being a German I am not surprised as the German Bundeswehr is in a totally desastrous condition. No working technology!

    • Don Casavant

      Does your government have a real military?

      • Wellenzaehler

        Govt say yes, but planes and helicopters do not work, but the (female) Min of Defense prefers to make army kindergardens etc.)))))

        • Don Casavant

          In other word I guess the answer is no!

          • Wellenzaehler

            you got it!

          • Don Casavant

            Can they really say that the have a working military that can respond 24/7?

          • Dirk Smith

            Sad the greatest military of the 20th Century is now to this standard.

          • Wellenzaehler

            Politicians say so, but people seem not to believe it anymore. At the NATo HQ it is commonly known that the German army is not able to defend the Baltics or even Germany. And the Russians surely know that, best attacking time is between Friday 1 p.m. and monday 8 a.m. because during that time nobody works in our “army”.

  • Don Casavant

    Drones that do not work in winter! OK folks you must remember to only attack Germany in the cold weather! What a bunch of bullshit!

  • Paul P. Valtos

    Send American drones with Americans assisting in Poland

  • Milton Devonair

    Depends upon what the mission is. If it’s european hand wringing and making meaningless proclamations, then any drone would work and they should just save money and keep the western europeans out of Ukraine.

    If it’s to defend Ukraine, well then smaller drones would be far better and more efficient. They can be controlled by the artillery batteries, so when they see a bunch of russian/chechen apes setting up their arty in school yards, they can target them. They can catch the columns of primates on roads, then fire arty on them. Smaller drones could also see the russian and chechen apes gathering in buildings, sorting through all the things they stole that day….then Ukraine artillery could be brought to bear on them, steel rain baby.

    Smaller ones would be harder to shoot down and if hit, less costly to replace.

  • Michel Cloarec

    OK, the arguments about cold temperatures can I agree. But it will not be -19 degres before next year. So only to use the drones untill then. It is now OSCE needs them.