105 Drones for War – Quantum Systems with an order worth millions

reconnaissance drone

Barely visible in the sky, Ukraine has ordered another 105 Vector drones from Quantum Systems to reconnoiter Russian positions.

(Photo: Quantum Systems)

Berlin The Munich drone start-up Quantum Systems receives an order worth millions from Ukraine. “We will deliver 105 more Vector drones,” said Quantum boss Florian Seibel on Wednesday at the Handelsblatt conference “Security and Defense” in Berlin. The order value is said to be almost 20 million euros and is being financed by the federal government as part of the Ukraine aid.

So far, the Ukrainian armed forces have 40 reconnaissance drones from Quantum Systems. They are used to reconnoiter enemy artillery and troop movements with video recordings. They are an important tool for Ukrainians to hit their targets.

Drones are of great importance for reconnaissance at the front. Unlike in earlier wars, the soldiers there are no longer face to face, but many kilometers apart. You often can’t see what’s on the other side.

Drone has to do without GPS in war

The Vector drones look like small airplanes and have a range of up to 30 kilometers. That roughly corresponds to the artillery, says Seibel. With the new delivery, Ukraine will be able to create a picture of the situation across the entire front line in the future.

Top jobs of the day

Find the best jobs now and
be notified by email.

At the Handelsblatt conference, Hans-Lothar Domröse, former Army General of the German Armed Forces, emphasized the importance of missiles in the war in Ukraine: “The great advantage of drones is that they do not endanger human life during reconnaissance.”

At the same time, the new technology makes it possible to look “over hills, behind houses, around corners” and thus create a much better picture of the situation than ever before. Even with the drone you would remain as good as invisible: the drones are difficult to detect, so they can hardly be detected by enemy radar.

>> Now also read: The fight for 100 billion euros: This is how start-ups want to equip the Bundeswehr

Quantum Systems founder Seibel sees the renewed bulk order as a seal of quality for his drone. However, he also concedes that his team initially had to upgrade the technology after gaining initial experience under wartime conditions. The drones of the start-up founded in 2015 are being used in a military context for the first time in Ukraine. “Our most important lesson was that the drone has to be able to function without a GPS signal,” he says. Because the Russian armed forces are able to electronically jam the signals.

Now the commands and video images ran via a data link over a radio connection. This means that the system can only locate enemy soldiers and weapon systems to an accuracy of 100 meters. However, the Ukrainians could then use their own aerial photographs or Google Maps to determine the specific coordinates themselves.

Venture capitalists often shy away from arms projects

Based on the experience in Ukraine, Quantum Systems is already working on a successor to the Vector drone. With the support of artificial intelligence, this should be able to suggest to the drone pilot which objects he should observe more closely or longer. According to Seibel, this should also make it possible for a person to control several drones at the same time and monitor the reconnaissance.

Although many novel technologies could be used for defense purposes, Quantum Systems is one of very few German start-ups in the defense sector. There are several reasons for this: on the one hand, the barriers to entry for young companies are high. The start-ups often do not meet the requirements specified in the tenders of the Bundeswehr Procurement Office.

On the other hand, many founders shy away from the reputational risk or have ethical reservations about military applications. The fact that the vast majority of companies on the part of venture capital investors have ruled out using their investments for military purposes should also play a role.

Nevertheless, Quantum Systems has found classic venture capitalists. This is probably also due to the fact that the company has so far ruled out arming its drones. The sponsors include the Munich-based 10X Group, Project A from Berlin and Thiel Capital, an investment company owned by the German-American tech investor Peter Thiel.

More: US millions after Ukraine operation – Munich drone start-up proves itself in the war

source site-15