Portuguese drones help Ukraine destroy more than a billion euros worth of Russian military equipment

The company’s equipment, developed by IST alumni, is fundamental in detecting Russian military movements over long distances and identifying potential targets for destruction.

Britain’s Defense Secretary Grant Shabbs has revealed that unmanned aerial vehicles donated to Ukraine by the United Kingdom, including spy drones from Portuguese company Techware, have destroyed around €1,100 million worth of Russian military equipment.

“Our Ukrainian partners conservatively estimate that British drones have destroyed this value in Russian equipment,” Shabbs said at a Ukrainian drone defense forum in London on Monday.

The United Kingdom has already deployed more than four thousand drones to Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. According to the minister, more than 30 types of aircraft with various capacities and capabilities were donated. Exceeds 500 million Euros. The British government plans to increase this aid by 380 million euros over the next year.

Among the vehicles deployed is the AR3, a small drone developed and manufactured in Portugal, capable of operating in an environment saturated with electronic warfare equipment and carrying out long-range surveillance. Highly versatile and with 16 hours of autonomy, these drones allowed Ukraine to track the movements of the Russian military at long distances, as well as identify potential targets for destruction.

“The AR3 was created to be the most flexible in the field. These systems can bring to a very small scale – they are still very small systems – a huge range of capabilities,” says Ricardo Mendes, CEO of Decaver, to CNN Portugal.

Founded by alumni of Instituto Superiore Técnico as a software company connected to artificial intelligence, Tekever has continuous software development as one of its key attributes. The Portuguese company’s engineers receive reports of problems faced by their clients and develop solutions that allow them to overcome these challenges.

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The reality of operating systems with artificial intelligence allows the vehicle to stay in the air and follow its route even if the operator’s signal is lost due to interference from hostile electronic warfare equipment.

“A key factor in the success of our systems in Ukraine is their ability to be constantly updated in response to evolving needs on the ground, even in a congested environment. [por sistemas de guerra eletrónica]”, the company writes in a post on its social networks.

Equipment manufactured by Tekever is focused only on surveillance, and Ricardo Mendes guarantees that the company is not ready to change the trend of starting to develop products of a military nature. However, the qualities of the Portuguese drones have earned the company many accolades among Ukrainian players. “Our collaboration has had an incredible impact on the battlefield,” said Grant Shapps.

This year, the company unveiled a new product, the ARX, which is capable of targeting and coordinating swarms of drones. The vehicle will only be available in 2025 – it promises to “significantly strengthen surveillance and life-saving capabilities in civil and military systems”, with greater autonomy, greater speed, the ability to carry more technology and “capture more information”.

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