Searchlights for Air Defence Forces

Illustration

The first testing of searchlights18 January 2023, Kyiv

Why we decided to engage in this 

In September 2022, russian invaders began attacking Ukraine with Shahed-136 attack drones. The closer it got to winter, the clearer it became they would not stop, but rather increase their intensity. And so it happened: in November 2022, russians focused on striking Ukraine's energy infrastructure, which caused damage to both the military and, even more, to civilians..
At the beginning of 2023, a familiar unit, whose task was to protect the borders of Kyiv, reached out to our Foundation. They operated 2C6 Tunguska, yet had no means to visually search for targets in the sky. So we started exploring the topic of searchlights and flashlights that would help stationary air defense units and mobile fire teams protect civilians and infrastructure..
In just 10 days from the start of the search, we tested the first three samples of searchlights. And so began the story of this project.

How we did it

1

Collected all the models of searchlights that were recommended online

We searched for information on Facebook, in specialized groups, asked friends who had already bought something similar, and googled

2

Contacted manufacturers and suppliers

We clarified prices, availability, declared specifications, and supply restrictions

3

We determined what characteristics meet the needs of different units

Depending on the armament available to the unit, we determined the type of searchlights for the best cost-effectiveness ratio

4

Launched a fundraiser and started trial purchases of devices

Before this stage, it was not yet clear which models would be mass-produced, what would be their real efficiency and delivery times

5

Conducted 8 tests of searchlights

These were both subjective "by eye" tests and objective tests with lux meters to measure the luminous flux. We invited the military to attend these tests so that they could ask questions and simulate the real-life scenarios.

6

A total of 14 devices were tested

All of the tested devices were transferred to the troops. Not all of them were perfect, yet most of them met military requirements, although ultimately they were not put into series production..

7

Continued to purchase proven solutions and share this experience

More on real cases below

We would like to note that we have not tested all types of searchlights and flashlights, thus our list is not exhaustive. Something came up in the process or after we completed the testing.
If you have any proven options — contact us.

What we can recommend

We chose the model of the searchlights depending on the operational capacity of the units. Based on the maximum range of target destruction, they can be divided into 3 groups: 1) < 1200 m — firearms, PKM, PKT (and their combinations);2) 1200–2500 м — heavy machine guns (and their combinations), ZU-23-2, ZSU-23-4 «Shilka», 2С6 «Tunguska»;3) > 2500 мm— MPADS («Igla», «Stinger», «Starstreak»...), L-70 Bofors.Following are the models of flashlights we recommend for each of these groups:

Saba 6000

Illustration

Estimated cost

21 000 UAH

● portable and lightweight● battery lasts for 5-6 hours● additional battery can be purchased



Contact

Олексій — (067) 6980348

Hunter-46

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Estimated cost

24 516 UAH

● best suited for permanent installation on a pickup truck or a building● 75 W● versions 220/48V● requires external power supply

Contact

Фірма "НОТ" — (098) 6603402

Nitecore TM39 Lite

Illustration

Estimated cost

19 000 UAH

● highly mobile● built-in battery rechargeable by power bank● 5 years warranty● weaker than other models

Contact

NiteCore — (080) 0752075

Bandera Flashlight BFL 280.1X

Illustration

Estimated cost

35 000 UAH

● focus adjustment (spot width)● protected case● not very convenient for manual operation● requires a powerful charging station (consumption 280 W/h)

Contact

Promavtomatyka webpage

TG-27L (did not get tested)

Illustration

Estimated cost

45 000 UAH

● 400 W LED● heavy● preferable location: 15-20 meters from machine guns● requires a powerful charging station (consumption 400 W/h)

Contact

Hennadii Suldin

Searchlight ZPR-45х3

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Estimated cost

80 000 UAH

● lightweight and portable● 1 battery lasts only 40 minutes, but can be quickly replaced● batteries can be purchased online● can be manually operated● energy consumption of only 130 W/h

Contact

Serhii — (067) 8265600"SunRay" LLC

Bandera Flashlight BFL 280.1X

Illustration

Estimated cost

35 000 UAH

● focus adjustment (spot width)● protected metal case● not very convenient for manual operation● requires a powerful charging station (consumption 280 W/h)


Contact

Promavtomatyka — webpage

Whi received

Over March-June 2023, we delivered a total of 18 devices to eight units worth about UAH 450,000. Among the recipients are units of the Territorial Defense Forces, the National Guard, the Army and the Air Force serving in Kyiv, as well as in Chernihiv, Kyiv, Mykolaiv regions. 

Media on this project

NYTimes
ukrinform
ElMundo
Illustration

Acknowledgments

Who makes the project Searchlights for Air Defense Forces happen

🙏 Andrii (в/ч А1048)

For facilitating the testing of the searchlights. It is difficult to get him off balance with silly civilian requests, questions and tight deadlines

🙏 Oleksandr Lykhodid — test pilot of the Air Force of Ukraine

For responding quickly to requests and facilitating testing in the face of uncertainty

🙏 Air Defense Forces

Without you, there would be no independent Ukraine, no one to raise money, search for searchlights, buy and test them!

🙏 To donors, concerned citizens, subscribers of Hurkit

People who understand the importance of supporting the Defense Forces and raised UAH 450,000 to buy searchlights and flashlights for the Air Defense Forces

🙏 Hurkit team and volunteers

Those who, while working on their main jobs, helped with testing, shipping, media coverage and management of journalists

Some photos from the tests

Contact information

For questions and suggestions

Valentyn Nyzkovolosov

Location illustration photo

Project coordinator

https://www.facebook.com/v.nyzkovolosov