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UK Supplies Ukraine with Windracers ULTRA Cargo Drones.

On May 29, 2024, via the social media platform X (formerly Twitter), @UkrReview announced that the UK had transferred ULTRA (Uncrewed Low-cost TRAnsport) cargo UAVs to Ukraine as part of the drone coalition. Developed by Windracers, these drones, also referred to as the "Jeep of the Skies," have not had their exact numbers disclosed. This initiative is part of the UK's UAV support program for Ukraine, valued at GBP 325 million (approximately USD 413 million).

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Windracers ULTRA (Uncrewed Low-cost TRAnsport) cargo UAVs  (Picture source: Ukraine Social Media)

As reported by Janes, the UK Ministry of Defense procured these ULTRA aircraft to aid the Ukrainian armed forces. The ULTRA, a tactical UAV, is primarily designed for resupply missions. Simon Muderack, CEO of Windracers and Distributed Avionics, revealed that since 2023, the UAV has been employed for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) as well as logistical resupply operations for the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The ULTRA drone is engineered for both efficiency and versatility, with a maximum travel distance of 1,000 kilometers and a payload capacity of up to 100 kilograms. It also has an internal payload volume of 700 liters. Windracers noted the drone's autonomous capabilities, emphasizing its ability to conduct missions at night.

Developers explained that the drone's autopilot and flight control technology, provided by Distributed Avionics, offer connectivity from any location using beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) capabilities, independent of a single flight computer.

The ULTRA requires only 150 meters for takeoff or landing, suitable for diverse environments due to its design, which is composed of 95% aluminum. This structure not only provides lightness and strength but also enhances its maneuverability and durability. With 24 interchangeable control surfaces, the drone allows for customized aerodynamic adjustments.

Weighing 300 kilograms when empty, with a maximum take-off weight of 450 kilograms, the ULTRA can cruise at speeds up to 135 kilometers per hour. It is capable of automatic landing with a ground roll of less than 150 meters on both wet and dry surfaces. With a nominal endurance of over 12 hours and an electrical power supply of 350 watts, the drone can operate from various surfaces including dirt, grass, tarmac, and ice, showcasing its operational flexibility.

Windracers ULTRA (Uncrewed Low-cost TRAnsport) cargo UAVs  (Picture source: Ukraine Social Media)

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