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"Steel Eagle" as a curse or a blessing: new drone with tremendous "penetrating power" - for Ukraine?


Highlights: A Finnish company claims to have developed a drone with "enormous penetrating power" The drone is loaded with "thousands of metal balls" made of tungsten. The company, called Insta, also has the Finnish military in mind as a buyer - as well as Ukraine. If Ukraine uses the system, "sooner or later it will also get its hands on Russia," a Swedish scientist says. This applies not only to Russia and Ukraine but also to all other armies.

Status: 12.09.2023, 22:19 p.m.

By: Florian Naumann


Drones are an important tool in the Ukraine war. A company from Finland claims to have developed a model with a huge impact - there are concerns.

Helsinki - The Ukraine war shows how important drones can be in modern warfare: Kyiv is relying massively on small aircraft - and Russia feels compelled to take ever new countermeasures. In any case, the Kremlin has also used Iranian Shahed threats en masse to terrorize the population of Ukraine.

But the technology also has its downsides. Potentially, even beyond what is already customary with war equipment. A Finnish company has now developed a new drone with "enormous penetrating power", as reported by the broadcaster YLE. The concern for democratic states, which is not entirely insignificant, is that the principle of action of their weapons could violate the conventions of war. Nevertheless, the company, called Insta, also has the Finnish military in mind as a buyer - as well as Ukraine.

Drone "Steel Eagle": "Distributes fragments over a wide field of action"

According to the report, we are talking about a remote-controlled quadcopter, a drone with four propellers. However, it is loaded with "thousands of metal balls" made of tungsten. This is compact, heavy - and can be used as a weapon to develop great "penetrating power". The weapon was presented at a trade fair in London that has been running since Wednesday (12 September).

Insta itself calls its drone "Steel Eagle". "The drone allows the explosive charge to be maneuvered in the air into an ideal position where it can be detonated," it says on the company's homepage. The further information gives an idea of the intended destructive effect: The "charge" contains steel and tungsten splinters, it distributes "fragments over a wide field of action". Recently, cluster munitions deliveries by the United States to Ukraine had caused some heated debates. Nevertheless, the arms company assures that the "Steel Eagle" is compatible with all conventions signed by Finland.

"Steel Eagle" drone allegedly to help Ukraine: expert warns - "also falls into the hands of Russia"

War researcher Ilmari Käihkö from the Swedish Defence University attested to the concept's "advantages". However, he also warned at YLE's request. "If this works the way the company says, it can certainly make a contribution to Ukraine and also appear on the battlefields around the world." However, it is important to wait for tests. So far, only Insta's self-promotion is known.

Käihkö's second point of criticism could be more significant. If Ukraine uses the system, "sooner or later it will also get its hands on Russia," the scientist said. In other words, the supposed blessing for the defenders of Ukraine could later become a curse. At the same time, there are legal concerns.

Drones not only in the Ukraine war: The problem is the "environment effect"

True, all weapons could be used in "legal and illegal" ways, said Jani Leino, a lawyer with the Finnish Red Cross. The decisive factor is whether military or civilian targets are attacked. However, he pointed out the dangers for the civilian population in the case of particularly powerful weapon systems: "The problem is above all weapons that have a large environmental effect, as is supposedly the case here."


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These and other questions could continue to occupy the world in the future. The armament process is underway, Käihkö said. This applies not only to Russia and Ukraine, but also to all other armies. This also applies to Germany: After years of debates on ethical aspects, the Bundestag cleared the way for the purchase of armed drones in 2022. Insta would probably also like to get involved: The drone is "developed for the domestic and international defense sector," said Vice President Tuure Lehtoranta. (fn)

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-09-12

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