Aerorozvidka (Аеророзвідка) Aerial Reconnaissance Unit Patch

Who Are Aerorozvidka?

Aerorozvidka is an elite Ukrainian drone unit founded by volunteer IT experts. The team initially used commercially available drones, but later developed their own designs. Commercial Drones costing around $1,000 are suitable for a range of tasks like carrying explosives, observing military units and targeting artillery. The former hobby drone pilots also rebuild damaged drones, try to make drones easier to fly and train soldiers to fly them. 

Aerorozvidka

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Aerorozvidka (Аеророзвідка) Aerial Reconnaissance Unit Patch
Formationfirst established 2014, registered in May 1, 2020; 2 years ago
FounderVolodymyr Kochetkov-Sukach
Typenon governmental organization that also volunteers as military unit
Purposeto assist to security and defense forces of Ukraine in the victory over the Russian invaders.
Region servedUkraine
CommanderLt Col Yaroslav Honchar
AffiliationsUkrainian Ground Forces
Websiteaerorozvidka.xyz
How Can I support?https://aerorozvidka.xyz/donate

Aerorozvidka (Ukrainian: Аеророзвідка, “aerial reconnaissance”) is a team that promotes creating and implementing netcentric and robotic military capabilities for the Ukrainian security and defense forces. Aerorozvidka exemplifies the direct engagement of civil society in repelling aggression against Ukraine. Aerorozvidka specialising in aerial reconnaissance and drone warfare.[1] It was founded in May 2014 by a team including the Ukrainian battalion commander Natan Chazin.[2] Its founder, Volodymyr Kochetkov-Sukach, was an investment banker who was killed in action in 2015 in Donbas.

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The unit’s commander, Lt Col Yaroslav Honchar, is an ex-soldier turned IT marketing consultant. He returned to the army after the first Russian invasion in 2014.[3][4]

During the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Aerorozvidka has been targeting Russian forces at night, while they are immobile.[1][5]

History

Aerorozvidka has been termed a “war startup” by the Atlantic Council. It began as a group of volunteer drone and IT enthusiasts, which eventually evolved later into a military unit. Initially a non-governmental organization, Aerorozvidka still presents itself as such on their official website.

At the time when Ukraine was already receiving military equipment to assist in the Russo-Ukrainian War, Aerorozvidka was still forced to rely on crowdfunding and personal contacts to obtain components for the drones they were building, sometimes in the face of export controls that prohibit these components from being sent to Ukraine. The military unit was started by university-educated Ukrainians who volunteered to use their skills in the resistance against the Russian invasion in Crimea and the Donbas region. The unit was disbanded in 2019 by the then defense minister, but was immediately revived as Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine commenced.

The team initially used commercially available drones, but later developed their own designs.

Russian convoy

A team of Ukrainian special forces, with their drone operators drawn from the Aerorozvidka unit, played a major role in halting the 40 mile Russian convoy en-route to mount an attack on Kyiv from the north. The fighters operated on quad bikes, drawing ambushes at nights. The convoy of armoured vehicles and supply trucks was ground to a halt within days. The team utilised various drones depending on their purpose, with some equipped with thermal imaging cameras, and others capable of dropping RKG-1600 anti-tank grenades.

Activities

Drones often do not last for long before they are shot down mid-flight, however they still provide tactical importance during the day or two of their operational life nonetheless. Consumer drones with a retail value of approximately $1,000 are already suitable for a range of tasks such as carrying explosives, observing military units, and targeting artillery. The former hobbyist drone pilots also rebuild damaged drones, perform modifications to make them easier to fly, and train soldiers to fly them. As some sources do not explicitly refer to Aerorozvidka, it may be more similar groups of drone enthusiasts active in Ukraine.

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