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Uz Ukrainu dodas dronu vadības centri

Latvia sends 'drone vans' to Ukraine

Adapted vans, or drone control centers, are heading to Ukraine at the specific request of Ukrainian soldiers. These vans are part of a shipment of more than €150,000 worth of aid provided by the Ganta Foundation. The shipment, which also includes a large amount of medical and hygiene supplies for the war victims, left Rīga on Monday, May 6, Latvian Television reported. 

From the outside, an ordinary van - inside, a drone control center. Aigars Loss, a member of the board of the Ganta Foundation, said - it was created at the specific request of already familiar soldiers.

"There are two seats inside, so one controls the drone and the other processes the information that has been received. There are two directions of work, one is the [drones] who are the scouts, who have a bit more serious and higher flying, and the other ones are [..] the strike drones and the droppers," Loss said.

One of the requirements when building such a mobile drone control center is to be able to evacuate quickly.

"Working here in this particular location, a person can immediately, quickly leave the area if required. There is another workplace, it is also near the exit, so that you can evacuate as quickly as possible. We have made it as ergonomic as possible," said Loss.

Not only does the onboard system have to be good and very easy to use, the vehicle itself has to be in excellent technical condition, Loss said. It will have to travel on roads that have already been bombed in many places.

This will not be the only drone van in this Ganta Fund shipment. A drone control center has also been built by a group of friends and colleagues called "12 plus one". The drone was built in their spare time, based on the soldiers' orders and their capabilities. Here, too, everything that was necessary was respected. Several evacuation exits and several workplaces.

"We have been working with the same unit for more than a year and a half. Everything [..] is according to specific instructions, needs," said Jānis Spigovskis, co-designer of the drone van.

Drone van builders told us that such mobile drone control centers are very much needed.  

"We can't count on the Ukrainians getting a lot of international help now, [..] and they need it now, right now." added Ieva Ādamsone, founder of the Ganta Foundation.

On Monday, the largest Ganta Foundation aid shipment to date, worth more than €150,000, left Rīga for Ukraine with one of the drone vans. The second drone control center will also be on its way soon.

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