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Rheinmetall LUNA NG tactical reconnaissance unmanned aerial systems (UASs) ordered by the German government as part of an extensive military aid package for Ukraine initiated in July 2023 will soon be operating in the country, Rheinmetall announced on 14 August.

The order, which Rheinmetall says is worth a “low double-digit-million-euro amount”, will see the systems delivered over the course of 2023.

Each LUNA NG UAS comprises a ground control station, several unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), a launch catapult, optional net equipment for catching the UAVs when they land, and equipment for rapid repairs. The entire system is mounted on an HX truck with a swap body system made by Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles.

The LUNA NG system being supplied to Ukraine is in Bundeswehr service as as the ‘Husar’ system. (Photo: Rheinmetall)

The LUNA NG, which has already clocked up several thousand hours of flying time, is being introduced into Bundeswehr service as the ‘Husar’ system.

The system can accommodate modular payloads that can include electro-optical, infrared acoustic and spectrum analysis sensors.

“Thanks to their ultralight high-stability design, LUNA NG drones can remain aloft for over twelve hours. Moreover, when fitted with optional StaCom equipment, they have a datalink range of up to 300 kilometres,” Rheinmetall stated in a press release.

The order for Ukraine furthers Rheinmetall’s objective to move further into the UAS market.

“This order represents a major milestone for Rheinmetall’s UAV and the Group’s digitalisation strategy,” the company stated. “LUNA NG is an advanced sensor component for networked operations, which significantly increases the performance of the sensor-to-shooter chain.

“At the same time LUNA NG provides the basis for future development of Rheinmetall’s product portfolio both in the field of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities and in the field of tactical payloads.”

Peter Felstead