Light UAV Corvo PPDS in Ukraine

31
Light UAV Corvo PPDS in Ukraine
Assembled UAV SYPAQ Corvo PPDS and delivery kits


At the beginning of the year, Australia began to supply Ukraine with disposable unmanned aerial vehicles manufactured by SYPAQ Systems. Corvo PPDS products are simple and cheap in design, but they can carry different payloads. The Kiev regime reports the use of such UAVs for various tasks, incl. to strike at important targets, but no confirmation or evidence is given.



Simple and cheap


The promising Corvo PPDS (Precision Payload Delivery System) UAV was developed by the Australian company SYPAQ Systems with the participation of the Australian Defense Forces Academy. The aim of the project was to create a light class aircraft with minimal cost and complexity of production, capable of making just one flight with a load of several kilograms.

Such design problems were solved by using ideas from the field of aircraft modeling. Glider drone made of foam board and equipped with a commercially available propulsion system and controls.

In 2018-19 the development company built a smaller version of the promising Corvo and demonstrated it to a potential customer in the face of the Australian armed forces. It was assumed that such UAVs would find application in logistics - with their help it was proposed to deliver the necessary supplies to the front line or to hard-to-reach areas.

As a result of these events, an order appeared to continue the development and preparation of a full-fledged production of new UAVs. The contract worth 1 million Australian dollars (more than 600 thousand US dollars) was signed in March 2019.


UAV on launch catapult

In the future, SYPAQ repeatedly talked about its successes within the Corvo PPDS project, and also showed such UAVs at various exhibitions. Apparently, she managed to establish mass production of drones and assembly kits, but until recently, there were no details about this. In addition, it was not reported about the start of full-fledged deliveries of equipment to certain customers.

Deliveries to Ukraine


In early March, SYPAQ Systems announced the start of deliveries of Korvo products to Ukraine. Soon the equipment went into operation, and already on March 20, the German publication Bild spoke about the first experience of its use. It also revealed the approximate characteristics of the new UAVs and their areas of use.

According to Bild, Ukraine receives a hundred Australian UAVs every month. They arrive as assembly kits, including foam board sheets for the airframe and the necessary electrical and electronic components. Direct assembly is carried out by local specialists.

By the time of publication, Australian UAVs had completed approx. 60 sorties. Issues of conducting reconnaissance and delivery of small cargoes were worked out, incl. light ammunition. However, details of the application and its results were not given.

New information about the combat use of Corvo PPDS appeared in open sources in June. Then, in the combat zone, a Ukrainian UAV with a payload in the form of a MON-90 mine and a VP-2a radio fuse was shot down. In this configuration, it turns into a kamikaze drone and is able to attack targets with known coordinates. At the same time, one could expect the appearance of other variants of the combat load.


Corvo in flight

On August 27, Ukrainian propaganda disseminated reports of an alleged UAV attack on a Russian airfield near the city of Kursk. It was alleged that a large number of drones were able to break through our air defense and hit a number of aircraft and several air defense systems.

However, enough time has passed since the alleged strike, and no news no incidents were reported at the airport. The Ukrainian side has not yet provided any evidence. Moreover, foreign commercial operators have already published fresh satellite images of the airfield without any damage.

The well-known Fighterbomber blog reported that such an attack actually took place, and it used disposable Australian-made UAVs. If this is so, then the Corvos showed extremely low combat effectiveness - if one can talk about it at all in the absence of any noticeable result.

Cardboard in the air


SYPAQ's Corvo PPDS is a lightweight aircraft-type UAV capable of solo flight and light payload. The main feature of this drone is the airframe material. To reduce the cost of production and simplify logistics, it is made of foam board and is a set of box-shaped and curved elements.

Structurally, the UAV is divided into a fuselage and a wing. The fuselage has a box shape and a polygonal nose fairing that accommodates the propeller group. The tail boom is virtually absent; the plumage includes only the keel, located directly behind the wing. A straight wing with simple mechanization is used. It is attached to the fuselage with a rubber band.


The wreckage of a downed UAV with a MON-90 mine, June 2023

The dimensions and weight of the device were not reported. The total length does not exceed 1 m, the wingspan is up to 2 m. The payload, depending on the configuration, reaches 3-5 kg. At the same time, the MON-90 mine, seen earlier on one of the UAVs, weighs more than 12 kg. Thus, the takeoff weight of the device with different loads can be estimated at no less than 10-15 kg.

"Corvo" is equipped with an electric motor and battery of unknown models. The flight speed is not specified. Range - from 40 to 120 km; flight duration - up to 3 hours. The launch is carried out using a catapult. Soft landing, due to the design features, is not provided.

At the stage of demonstration tests, it was reported that the Corvo PPDS has only an autopilot and flies according to a pre-compiled program. There is no remote control. Apparently, on-board automation uses satellite navigation.

Technical potential


The SYPAQ Corvo PPDS multi-purpose lightweight UAV is of particular interest from a technical point of view, primarily in connection with the manufacture of the airframe from a specific material. This approach to design provides certain advantages, but entails limitations and disadvantages. Accordingly, the overall result may be far from expected.

UAV "Corvo" is convenient and successful in terms of production and logistics. Cheap airframe material and inexpensive components are used. The device can be delivered to the operator in the form of a set of sheets and parts for self-assembly. There is a theoretical possibility of producing equipment in large quantities.


Wing and fuselage connection

With all this, the foam board glider has limited strength. Such a design has a load capacity limit, and scaling to improve performance is only possible up to a certain level. The survivability of such a glider in combat conditions raises questions - even small arms can harm it weapon, although not all holes will be fatal.

The UAV has only an autopilot for flying along a given route. This sharply limits the range of tasks to be solved. In particular, there is no possibility of attacking moving targets with previously unknown coordinates. In addition, simplified satellite-only electronics are vulnerable to electronic warfare. If the GPS signals are jammed, the aircraft will not be able to continue flying.

Without a remote control system and optics, the Corvo PPDS can only carry cargo or ammunition. At the same time, the first application option is not efficient due to the limited carrying capacity, and the second one provides work only on fixed targets. In both cases, the potential of the UAV is limited, and the low cost may not always justify it.

Inexpensive and useless


Thus, yet another foreign state provided the Kyiv regime with "high-tech" military assistance - UAVs of a characteristic appearance with specific capabilities. It was assumed that the product SYPAQ Corvo PPDS will become massive and will help Ukrainian formations to solve various problems. In particular, they even tried to use such drones in a strike role.

However, the real results again fell short of expectations. This outcome is associated with the very limited potential of the UAVs themselves and with active opposition from the Russian side. Not the most advanced drones are suppressed or intercepted - and their "victories" can only be observed in the foreign press and in Ukrainian propaganda.
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31 comment
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  1. +3
    August 29 2023
    Yes, who would doubt that they will not live up to expectations! If I understand correctly, there is no remote control, so electronic warfare is useless? But the construction of a ram and sticks does not contribute to the detection of air defense?
  2. 0
    August 29 2023
    I wonder how it flies in the rain. what
    1. -1
      August 29 2023
      Quote: Lech from Android.
      I wonder how it flies in the rain.

      Just like other light UAVs - i.e. no way.
    2. +3
      August 29 2023
      If about moisture, then the cardboard is impregnated with wax.
    3. 0
      August 29 2023
      Quote: Lech from Android.
      I wonder how it flies in the rain.

      Most likely, the cardboard is impregnated with some kind of polymer, which, in my opinion, is hardly much cheaper than plastic.
      1. +6
        August 29 2023
        It is impregnated with wax, does not get wet. In general, a difficult and extremely dangerous target, while cheap ...
        1. +1
          August 29 2023
          So the plastic is radio-transparent. It's like making furniture from sawdust, there is so much glue and polymers that the price is not very cheap.
  3. 0
    August 29 2023
    I had previously heard about disposable cardboard mobile phones and tablets ... But what progress has come! Cardboard Drones! No matter how kenguryatniks get carried away with cardboard to such an extent that they start sending cardboard tanks, body armor and ... cardboard women ("sex dolls") to help the Armed Forces of Ukraine ... Everything is disposable! Why doubt? If Zelensky, Syrsky, Zaluzhny turned mobilized ukrov into "disposable" soldiers!
    1. -3
      August 29 2023
      But what progress has been made! Cardboard Drones!
      Ahead is apparently cardboard tanks and infantry fighting vehicles! laughing
    2. -1
      August 29 2023
      "cardboard women" is something new. "Zina" at least you can inflate, but flat. What's in it? Just what is a cheap picture?
  4. +1
    August 29 2023
    )))
    A feature of this type of weapon is the possibility of massaging. As long as the Aussies send 2 wunderwaffles a day, they can be ignored.
  5. +3
    August 29 2023
    If we do not mean the navigation module and microprocessor control, then such knick-knacks, at one time, were collected in pioneer camps and circles by skillful hands at pioneer palaces, were commonplace.
  6. +3
    August 29 2023
    Before CBO, I saw videos of how aircraft modelers made flying models in the garage, from foam, sticks and a fan.
    And they flew great. Surely, they could take normal cargo.
    Fortunately, there are fans-modellers, and prize-winners - international specialists in the country.
    A lot of different aircraft designs and calculations are already known.

    We would like to - they launched mass production of pennies a long time ago ..
    1. 0
      August 29 2023
      The whole trick is that if there is something cheap, then there will be no way to steal money on kickbacks! Recently we worked with Rostelecom, they ask for an extra cable, just in case, with a wheel of 15 m to wind up on each camera. It turns out that the cable has its own light)))
  7. -4
    August 29 2023
    Judging by the photo, this model was originally conceived for the MON-90. If there is no feedback, then it turns out that they hoped for the mine to be triggered from top to bottom, during the flight, when the specified coordinates were reached. If the electronic warfare radically distorts these coordinates, then they simply fall without exploding, having exhausted the battery life.
    1. -1
      August 29 2023
      If he flies along the coordinates, then where does the reb?
      1. +1
        August 29 2023
        While the electronic warfare jams / distorts the GPS signal /
        1. +1
          1 September 2023
          Why does he need a jeepies if he flies on an inertial?
  8. +4
    August 29 2023
    Australian Drone Advantage Price: $3350 for a heavy model capable of carrying 5kg. explosives for 120 km. With mass use, it can be quite a dangerous weapon.
    And as for the "cardboard", during the Second World War, the successfully used British multi-role bomber Mosquito was made of plywood.
    1. 0
      August 29 2023
      From plywood there were LAGG AND LA, YAK and MIG, as well as IL2, not counting the armor capsule (wing consoles, tail)
    2. 0
      August 29 2023
      Let's also remember: U 2, plywood case. On the Yaks, there were wings made of plywood
  9. +5
    August 29 2023
    I had already read about this drone, and the idea seemed interesting to me. It was originally intended for single use, but reports I've read say it can withstand repeated use. The use of cardboard does not strike me as a tragedy or something funny. It is designed to be printed on sheets and assembled on site, making it easy to manufacture and transport on pallets. As other colleagues have already said, the cardboard is water resistant.
  10. -2
    August 29 2023
    However, the real results again fell short of expectations...

    It's just that the very idea of ​​a disposable drone is flawed. To be effective, it must have a perfect, and therefore expensive, management system. That is, no matter how cheap the glider is, the effective drone itself will always be expensive.
    Killing an expensive system at a time instead of hitting the enemy with unguided ammunition from it is nonsense.
    1. +2
      August 29 2023
      Quote: Conjurer
      However, the real results again fell short of expectations...

      It's just that the very idea of ​​a disposable drone is flawed. To be effective, it must have a perfect, and therefore expensive, management system. That is, no matter how cheap the glider is, the effective drone itself will always be expensive.
      Killing an expensive system at a time instead of hitting the enemy with unguided ammunition from it is nonsense.

      Firstly, if the UAV is returning, then this will automatically cut its range by 2 times, because you will have to fly back.
      Secondly, landing an aircraft-type UAV is not an easy task. We need either cunning control systems or an additional compartment with a parachute, which again will reduce the payload.
      Thirdly, the ammunition drop system is also cumbersome in itself and takes up weight and volume, which again will affect the payload.
  11. +1
    August 29 2023
    Quote: ASAD
    Yes, who would doubt that they will not live up to expectations! If I understand correctly, there is no remote control, so electronic warfare is useless? But the construction of a ram and sticks does not contribute to the detection of air defense?
    Just the electronic warfare is most useful here. GPS spoofing immediately drives the device crazy, the series "steep dive" begins ... Well, or "turn to nowhere." At the choice of the discerning viewer.

    Yet again. A simple flight controller, which is installed in such devices, has, for example, wi-fi flashing and open ports. If the "wise men" on the ground didn't turn it all off by wire, then this "plywood over Paris" will sit exactly where the electronic warfare operator wants ...
  12. +3
    August 29 2023
    The comments are mostly filled with irony. But jokes are jokes, and you can drown in a spoonful of soup.
    The UAV has only an autopilot for flying along a given route. This sharply limits the range of tasks to be solved.

    And who said that such a UAV should solve a wide range of tasks? Garbage from cardboard can be single-tasking. A bullet fired from a machine gun also solves a narrow range of tasks, and without any GPS. And a lot of bullets (burst, volley) solve such problems very successfully for many centuries. Pantsir reportedly detects and destroys such UAVs. But here, as in that Soviet joke about Japanese TVs, the question arises: “How much?” One locust can be dealt with with a slipper. What about Roy?
    Nothing will help the Khokhlov, but it's not about the Khokhlov at all.
  13. +1
    August 29 2023
    Thanks to the author, I haven’t read about Corvo yet.
    Styrofoam and cheap stuffing are undoubted pluses: low cost of production. They can be stamped in hundreds and anywhere.
    But this primitiveness is also the main vulnerability: there is the simplest autopilot and the cheapest battery.
    With limited range.
    They can only fall asleep in bulk, but I doubt that they will be given thousands of chtouk
    1. +3
      August 29 2023
      Quote from Vik. K
      Thanks to the author, I haven’t read about Corvo yet.
      Styrofoam and cheap stuffing are undoubted pluses: low cost of production. They can be stamped in hundreds and anywhere.
      But this primitiveness is also the main vulnerability: there is the simplest autopilot and the cheapest battery.
      With limited range.
      They can only fall asleep in bulk, but I doubt that they will be given thousands of chtouk

      At a price of $3500 apiece, we risk seeing real hordes of these drones
  14. -2
    November 14, 2023
    According to SYPAQ chief engineer Ross Osborne, prices for these drones start at €615.
  15. 0
    November 25, 2023
    This is called technology. It costs a penny, it’s made from dung, but it does its job
  16. 0
    November 30, 2023
    From Australia, models are brought to Ukrainians.
    And using my technology, you can make such airplanes at a rate of 1000 pieces per shift per piece of equipment. The price will be almost the same as a roll of toilet paper!!!!
    But we don't do anything.....

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