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by John Helmer, Moscow 

Since last November the regime of Vladimir Zelensky (lead image, left) in Kiev has been advertising the products of a company called Piranha-Tech  for newly developed electronic warfare (EW) technologies which the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu (right) is now supplying the Ukraine for operations against Russia.

According to a Russian military blogger report published on May 4, Israeli companies specializing in electronic jamming and drone technologies are behind a Ukrainian government, US,  and UK-funded drone production line and deployment of the weapons on the Ukrainian battlefield. Piranha-Tech, according to this source, is 49% owned by Israeli shareholders, who developed the technology, and 51% owned by Ukrainians who are managing the battlefield supplies. Piranha-Tech anti-drone guns and jammers  are based on Israeli military technologies, the report claims.

The first official disclosure came from Kiev on November 2, 2023. According to a tweet published by Mikhail Fedorov, a cyber technology specialist with government rank in Kiev, “efficient protection from Russian UAVs for armored vehicles & personnel. Quite unique electronic warfare system — Piranha AVD 360. It creates protective dome up to 600 meters around & jams satellite navigation systems, such as RuGLONASS. New tech supported by @BRAVE1ua”.   

BRAVE1 stands for “Ukrainian Defense Innovations”, a Ukrainian government coordinating agency for “stakeholders of the defense tech industry by providing them with organizational, informational, and financial support for defense tech projects.”  

Source: https://twitter.com/fedorovmykhailo?lang=en 

Source: https://twitter.com/FedorovMykhailo/

A US and Ukraine-based defence technology blog picked up the story immediately.   The report called the Piranha-Tech system “a cutting-edge electronic warfare system designed to safeguard armored vehicles from Russian drones, has successfully completed field trials and is now poised for mass production.” It added: “the Piranha system disrupts satellite navigation systems, including Russia’s GLONASS.”  According to the American outlet, Piranha Tech was an “achievement in Ukrainian defense technology.” There was no mention of the Israeli military base for the Ukrainian operation.

Left, source: https://defence-blog.com/
Right: Dylan Malyasov wearing US and Ukrainian loyalty patches and claiming to be press. Malyasov, the author of the promotional piece,  says that “as a journalist and volunteer, he was awarded the "For Assistance to the Armed Forces of Ukraine" medal. The order of award was signed by the Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Oleksiy Reznikov, on January 19, 2023.”  

The Israeli links behind Piranha Tech were first published in Paris on May 3, 2024.

Source: https://www.intelligenceonline.com/

The Paris-based website called Intelligence Online reported that the Ukrainian Piranha-Tech technology is in fact Israeli. “Behind the Ukrainian company supplying anti-drone equipment to the Ukrainian armed forces and the government of Myanmar is a network of Israeli electronic warfare companies.”   Intelligence Online is a product of Indigo, a media group owned by  Maurice Botbol,  who is of Moroccan Jewish extraction.  In the competitive London corporate investigations market, Botbol’s Intelligence Online has a controversial reputation. In the past, it was favourable to the press operations of a Russian metals oligarch now under US sanctions.

In Moscow, The Militarist, a widely read military news and analysis blog, followed with an  extensive report of the Israeli operation of Piranha-Tech on May 4. The Russian report says: “While Ukraine continues to develop its EW [electronic warfare] technologies as much as possible, incubators working in this field, such as Brave1 attract foreign specialists. Brave1 provides substantial support and subsidies to Piranha Tech, in particular, for its UAV [Unmanned Aerial Vehicles] Piranha AVD 360 anti-UAV system, which is used by the APU [Armed Forces of Ukraine]. The Ukrainian company, whose Ukrainian anti-UAV systems are praised on social media by the talkative Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, Mikhail Fedorov, seems to have close ties with Israel.”

Source: https://t.me/s/infantmilitario posted on May 4 at 20:25.

“Piranha Tech is registered in Ukraine in 2019. Its founders are citizens of Israel Bad Vyacheslav (10%) and Oren Flax (39 %), as well as two Ukrainians Yury Pavlovich Momot (15%) and Alexander Ruzhinsky (36%). Flax and Vyacheslav are also the founders and shareholders of the Ukrainian subsidiary of Kavit Electronics, registered in 2018. Kavit is controlled by the Flax family. Its headquarters is in Rishon LeZion in Israel, and its executive director is Yitzhak [Isaac] Flax. Another evidence of Piranha Tech’s close ties to Israel is that the phone number by default on the contact page on the website has an Israeli prefix.”

“Thus, Piranha Tech can be considered a cover and supplier of Israeli equipment delivering to the UK Logix Security International, which supplies the military authorities of Myanmar, as well as Ukraine and Poland. It supplies equipment to cyber-intelligence companies such as the Israeli Rayzone Group in the Philippines and SatusGlobal in Abu Dhabi, as well as to government customers such as the UAE Armed Forces and the Ivoirian Ministry of Defense.”

“It receives electronic components from LCSC Electronics in Hong Kong and Shenzhen E-Fire Technology in China, as well as from U.S. companies such as Mouser Electronics and DigiKey. According to the Ukrainian news website, Piranha Tech is also collaborating with Israeli company Airfence Solutions, known today as ApolloShield, a company listed in Tel Aviv and specializing in drone control systems.”

“The company was founded in 1994 and specializes in interception and suppression of telecommunications. It sells IMSI interceptors, mufflers and encrypted communications. The company has been a partner of Motorola since 1998 and supplies its equipment, in particular to Ecuador, where its distributor is the engineer Eduardo Francisco Torres Asu, and to Mexico, where its local distributor is VX Comunicaciones.”

The milblogger does not mention Intelligence Online and cites no other sources for his report. Tracking on the internet of the Israeli drone warfare companies, such as Kavit Electronics  and  Airfence Solutions,  which lists a Palo Alto, California,  address here,  is limited by their secrecy.  

Partial confirmation of the Paris and Moscow reports’ reference to Yury Momot, one of the Piranha manager shareholders,  has been found in a Christian Science Monitor publication in Boston from a “special correspondent” in Kiev on December 23, 2023: “ ‘Three or four years ago, nobody would have thought that drones would play such a big role in daily warfare,’ observes Yuri Momot, deputy general of Piranha-Tech, a company developing jamming systems to take down Russian drones. ‘The war itself is a big trigger for progress.’”  

The Monitor, which backs the war against Russia,  headlines its story, “War on a budget: Ukraine becomes hotbed for drone tech”, but the newspaper reports no estimate of the amount of money being spent on drone technology, testing of prototypes, production lines,  and battlefield deployment. The newspaper implies that it is a multi-national, multi-milliondollar business. Fedorov was reported by the Guardian in London as saying the UK is spending “£325m to help buy at least 10,000 drones for Ukraine’s military.”

Pentagon spending for US-made drones and anti-drone systems has been reported here.   “The Pentagon announced Friday morning,” reported Defense News on February 23, 2024, “ it would send more drones to Ukraine as part of a new $2 billion package to help in the country’s fight against Russia on the first anniversary of the invasion. The new $2 billion in aid includes more ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, more ammunition for 155mm artillery and more munitions for unspecified laser-guided rocket systems. It also includes unspecified counter-drone and electronic warfare detection equipment.”

According to the Monitor, “Ukraine has become a giant testing ground for drones from all over the world – the United States, Germany, Poland, and other partner countries. Countless new companies are taking shape around the technology; teams of engineers are tinkering on prototypes, trying to clear the Ministry of Defense and NATO checklists of technical requirements, hoping to nail a military contract…Oleksandr Yakovenko, CEO of TAF Drones [said] the company already has four factories spread out across Ukraine – despite suffering a sabotage attack that destroyed equipment worth $300,000 in July. The bulk of its supplies (90%) come from China or Taiwan. The remainder comes from suppliers in Europe and the U.S. ‘We have to create products that are cheaper than the targets,’ he says. ‘Otherwise, we will not win because our enemy has more resources than our country.’ ”  

UK government records for a parallel-named Piranha Tech company, operating in the Liverpool area on “computer related activities” and “information technology consultancy activities”, indicate the possibility that the Israelis and their Ukrainian partners were considering a British company front during their start-up.

The British Piranha Tech company first opened for business in Cardiff, Wales, and registered the company name, Piranha Tech Limited, at UK Companies House on September 20, 2007.   Its registration number was 06377583. The company’s address on file is 10 Walpole Avenue, Whiston, Prescot, Merseyside. This was the home of Colin Jones, who is listed as the company’s director with the occupation of “consultant.”  

The company’s business was reported officially as “other computer related activities”. In addition to Jones, Lisa Gregory was registered as the company secretary at another personal address nearby. This is as modest in real estate value as the Jones address.

No filing of financials and trading activities followed, and on October 10, 2009, the company was gazetted for compulsory strike-off.  Piranha Tech was dissolved formally on February 2, 2010.

Jones then re-registered the company as Piranha Tech Ltd in May 2016 – almost identical name, new company number 10195607. He listed the company’s business and himself at the same home address on Walpole Avenue. Jones was the only employee. In 2017 the financial report indicated profit of £15,968. In 2022 the cash in the bank had grown to £32,011. In February 2023 Jones filed for voluntary strike-off of the company, and in May of that year, Piranha Tech ceased to exist for the second time.

To check what relationship, if any, Jones and Gregory may have had with the Israelis and Ukrainians in drone warfare, it has been impossible to trace and contact them to date.

There is no sign in the UK Company House records of the Israeli business whose website advertises business addresses at Krivoy Rog, close to the front line; in Rzeszow, Poland, close to the western Ukrainian border, and in Slovenia. Piranha-Tech’s logo flies the Ukrainian flag and the usual war slogan.   According to Alex Ruzhinsky, calling himself the “Piranha Tech CEO”: “We started working in 2014. Since then, we have learned to work with small and large orders. We consistently monitor the quality of our products. Our products are used in 25 countries around the world.”  

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