Ukrainian aid group Revived Soldiers Ukraine (RSU) drone operators have received and trained up to operate a Draganfly Medical Response Drone, which the organization intends to use to transport vital medical supplies to wartorn areas of the country.
The delivery is part of a fleet of medical response and search and rescue drones headed into Ukraine and provided by Draganfly and Coldchain Delivery Systems to Revived Soldiers Ukraine (RSU), an organization focused on providing a humanitarian response to those left injured amid the ongoing Russia’s invasion.
The drone was delivered to organization officials in Poland on May 1, and it was then transported to Ukraine. There, Draganfly pilots trained RSU operators virtually, according to the company.
“This drone will help the non-profit organization safely access hotspots and provide humanitarian aid in major Ukrainian cities including Kyiv and Kharkiv,” Draganfly spokesperson Carl Garnich told FLYING in an email.
Just getting the drone into Ukraine was a feat, according to Wayne Williams, founder and executive director of Coldchain Delivery Systems.
“The situation in Ukraine continues to change rapidly,” Williams said in a statement. “Draganfly’s Medical Response Drones will help ensure the timely delivery of temperature-sensitive medical supplies and life-saving equipment to dangerous and hard-to-reach areas.”
RSU had expected to receive the medical response drone around mid-April, the organization’s president and founder Iryna Vashchuk Discipio told FLYING recently.
The medical response drone is a heavy-duty, multirotor UAV outfitted with a temperature-managed payload box capable of transporting up to 35 pounds of medical supplies, such as blood, insulin, syringes, and wound dressings, according to Draganfly.
“The crisis across Ukraine continues to create challenging conditions for emergency crews trying to provide aid to those in need,” Draganfly CEO Cameron Chell said. “Our Medical Response Drone and subsequent drone solutions will help RSU effectively access hotspots and deliver crucial medical supplies and equipment to affected Ukrainians.”
Given the high rate of injuries among civilians, getting antibiotics to field hospitals is the top priority, Discipio said.
The medical response drone will be flown by an experienced operator trained specifically in transporting medical supplies, she said. The relief agency is also in communication with Ukrainian forces in the region to coordinate its flight path.
But in a war zone with contested airspace, there’s plenty of reason to worry while it’s en route.
“We hope they won’t get shot down,” Discipio said. “With Russians shooting people, they will definitely shoot down a drone.”