Austrian drones fly high, over Ukraine

An Austrian-made high-tech drone is set to assist monitor a ceasefire been Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels.

In the middle of the Austrian countryside, a few sleek, high-tech drones sit in a bright production hall, ready for missions over Ukraine, the Mediterranean or the Middle East.

Schiebel, a small company originally specialised in landmine detection, has been manufacturing Camcopters – a 3.5-metre long mini-helicopter equipped with cameras, radars and other sensors – for close to 10 years.

But it has gained prominence with a new mission in Ukraine, where the Camcopter will assist observers from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe to monitor a ceasefire with pro-Russian rebels.

Before this, there were surveillance missions at the Winter Olympics in Sochi and the G20 summit in Seoul – a surprising feat perhaps for a company from a small alpine country not usually known for high-tech defence firms.

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