Ukrainian Military Using Agriculture Research Drones for Artillery Spotting

Lugansk recovers one, with its memory chip proving shelling at Popasnaya was planned provocation

"Fixed-wing ag drones are the choice when you have lots of ground to cover"
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Ag Drone
The Ag drone used for artillery filming. Compare to US AG drone above.

Novorosinform: The Air Defense Forces of the People’s Militia of the LPR shot down a Ukrainian armed Forces UAV that had been filming the bombardment of Popasnaya. [Note: Popasnaya is in the Ukraine-controlled area of the Lugansk Region -tr] This was reported to journalists by an official representative of the Defense Ministry of the LPR, Lieutenant Colonel Andrei Marochko.

At FRN We note that Agricultural Research Drones of this class are not cheap. We insert from a US guide: 

Professionals Only, Please

Agriculture drones are not your run-of-the-mill consumer-grade camera drone or racing drone. They are advanced data-gathering tools for serious professionals.  Prices for complete, ready-to-fly ag drone systems range from $1,500 to well over $25,000.

 

The FAA views all agricultural drone activity as commercial drone operation. 

This means the drone operator must have a Remote Pilot Certificate to fly.  This is true, even if no money changes hands.

 

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“Today at 08.35, in the area of the settlement, Popasnaya unmanned aerial vehicle of commercial type “KATANA-AGRO”, belonging to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, got into destruction zone of firing weapons and was shot down. A memory card was found and removed from the shot down UAV, now our specialists are studying the information contained in it.

The data obtained will later be used to initiate a criminal case against the commander of the 54th brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine – a war criminal Maistrenko in the area of responsibility of the brigade of which the drone was shot down,” he said. “Already we can say that this drone was launched by the AFU to record a staged shelling of the AFU position. It was in this area that the LNR representative office in the JCCC recorded a series of explosions on the territory controlled by Kiev this morning.

“This once again confirms our assumption that these doings of the Ukrainian security officials were a planned provocation,” the lieutenant colonel emphasized. “I would like to remind that the use of UAVs at the line of contact is a violation of the Minsk agreements. LPR air defense units, in turn, strictly adhere to the cease-fire, but in case of aggression by the Armed Forces of Ukraine are ready to respond adequately.

Recall, this morning, under the cameras, the Ukrainian side staged a massive shelling of the settlement Popasnaya in the occupied territory of the LC.Later, the headquarters of “OOS” accused the militia of the Lugansk Oblast. Also today, the APU launched an anti-tank missile at a pumping station in the DPR.

Yesterday it was reported that Kiev violated the “spring truce” in the Donbass five minutes after it came into force.Yesterday, General Naev, commander of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Donbass, declared his readiness for offensive operations.

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