monobank’s co-founder launches the military UAVs production, $8M was invested

Because of the war, there is a shortage in the drone market, therefore prices go up. In 2022, the co-founder of monobank, Volodymyr Yatsenko, launched Ukrainian UAVs production of Dovbush T10 in order to offer a cheaper analogue.

The goal of the project was to make a cheap UAV adapted to solving combat tasks. Particularly, in regard of overcoming the EW and anti-aircraft defence of the enemy. According to Yatsenko, there was a case when one of the drones handed over to the army could not be shot down by the enemy for 10 days. So, to destroy it, they used a BUK missile. That is, they spent $200,000 on a basic UAV model costing $5,000.

The editorial staff of AIN.Capital publishes a small interview with Yatsenko about how production operates now and how good the drones are at work.

UAVs production
Photos: the official Facebook page of the Territorial Defense Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces

You said that the goal of the project: cheap and efficient drones. Is it possible to make a UAV that costs, say, less than $100,000?

Yes, the Dovbush T10 UAV costs UAH 500,000, and I believe that mid-range UAVs with conventional optics should not cost any more. Anything that sells for more than $15,000 is speculation on war.

At what stage is the project now?

Currently, Dovbush is a mid-range UAV on an operational-tactical level with the ability to work as an artillery adjuster at a range of up to 35 km, in particular, using its inertial navigation system if there is no GPS signal, or as an impact drone with a payload of up to 12 kg of munition.

UAVs production

Is it possible to purchase components?

Almost all of our components are of our own production.

How are your drones performing on the front line?

Usage on the front line depends on the skill of the operators. The omnipresent use of EW significantly raises the bar for such skills. But it solves the tasks that it is capable of.

Can you talk about the scale of production, how many UAVs are produced per month?

Unfortunately, I cannot provide figures on the scale of production. But for now, these are industrial volumes.

What happens with the drones after? Sell or transfer to the military?

All aircraft are handed over to the Armed Forces free of charge after training and passing exams. There is a request for the purchase of our UAVs from the Ministry of Defence.

What do you plan to do next?

We plan to double the production capacity. The total investment in the equipment has now exceeded $3 million, the total investment is $8 million. The plans are to start production of a DJI Mavic analogue but with the use of a EW-protected control channel.