28th February 2023. At the behest of the German government, Rheinmetall is supplying Ukraine with automated reconnaissance systems. These are primarily used for monitoring large areas of terrain with as few personnel as possible. Rheinmetall is cooperating in this project with the Estonian company DefSecIntel. Known as the SurveilSPIRE, these reconnaissance systems consist of mobile surveillance towers with day and night-capable camera equipment, autopiloted mini drones and a control system. The scope of delivery also includes transport vehicles. The order is worth a figure in the double-digit million-euro range. Delivery has already commenced.
SurveilSPIRE / Photo: DefSecIntel
Made by Estonia’s DefSecIntel, the SurveilSPIRE surveillance towers can be loaded onto trailers and quickly transported to their area of operation. Assembly requires three personnel; operation is fully automated. The system includes wireless links (4G and Starlink) for video transmission to a mobile command post. Solar panels enable sustained operation without power cables or a fuel source. The system relies on autopiloted reconnaissance drones that conduct patrols and mission-specific flights. This enables inspection of detected threats and lets the operator initiate necessary countermeasures.
Rheinmetall is already taking part in several projects in support of Ukraine. On behalf of the German government, for example, Rheinmetall subsidiary Zeppelin Mobile Systeme GmbH is supplying Ukraine this year with a turnkey field hospital. Moreover, along with other defence materiel to help it repel the Russian invasion, Ukraine is taking delivery of 26 brand new high mobility HX swap-body trucks.
Furthermore, Rheinmetall is a partner in multiple multilateral “Ringtausch” transactions. This procedure, developed by the German government, is designed to support the Ukrainian war effort in cooperation with Germany’s European neighbours and NATO partners. Here, NATO member nations transfer Soviet-era equipment to Ukraine in exchange for surplus Western-made systems.
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