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Ukraine's Armed Forces shoot down Chinese-made drone Mugin-5 – CNN

Thursday, 16 March 2023, 11:37
Ukraine's Armed Forces shoot down Chinese-made drone Mugin-5 – CNN

The Ukrainian Armed Forces shot down a Chinese-made Mugin-5 drone in eastern Ukraine last Sunday.

Source: CNN, citing Ukrainian military and a comment from the drone manufacturer

Details: The wreckage of the downed drone was shown to journalists by the Ukrainian military. According to them, the UAV was shot down with AK-47 assault rifles.

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CNN identified the drone as a Mugin-5, manufactured by Mugin Limited, a Chinese company based in Xiamen, on the east coast of China. These UAVs are also known as "Alibaba drones" because they can be purchased for up to US$15,000 on Chinese online platforms Alibaba and Taobao.

 

The company confirmed to CNN that it was their drone and called the incident "deeply unfortunate". The MKS website also states that their products are "prohibited" for any illegal or military use.

According to the journalists, on the night of Friday-Saturday, the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) informed them that Ukrainian agents in the occupied territory had warned them that a UAV had been launched from there. After that, the SSU alerted military units based in eastern Ukraine near the city of Sloviansk.

At about 02:00, soldiers of the 111th Brigade of the Territorial Defence Forces heard a drone overhead and even saw a warning light flashing on the aircraft. The soldiers opened fire and shot down the drone.

According to the soldier cited by CNN, the drone was flying at a very low altitude. According to the journalists, a bullet hole was visible on the nose of the downed vehicle. The Ukrainian military also showed the journalists a tiny crater formed by the drone's cargo: a bomb weighing about 20 kg. The soldiers neutralised the shell and provided CNN with a video of the explosion.

 

The outlet asked the Russian Ministry of Defence for a comment on the incident but received no response.

A spokesperson for Mugin Limited told CNN that the company "does not condone such use and is trying its best to stop it". In a statement posted on the company's website on 2 March, Mugin Limited said it "condemns" the use of its products during military operations and said it stopped selling products to Russia or Ukraine when the war began.

CNN also contacted a half-dozen other companies whose electronic components were seen in the downed UAV, including Taiwanese electronics manufacturer MKS Servos.

The latter commented on the incident as follows: "Some UAV manufacturers may adopt MKS servos on their finished products for military usage, we are not happy about it, and it is against our company’s mission and vision."

The sensor on the upgraded UAV board was manufactured by Novatel, a part of the Canadian Hexagon group, which supplies products for "agriculture, construction and automotive industries". The company claims that the products are subject to export controls and are provided "in accordance with applicable export laws".

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