EMT Luna

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LUNA of the German Bundeswehr
Type: Reconnaissance drone
Design country:

GermanyGermany Germany





Number of pieces:

at least 142 (until 2014 for the Bundeswehr)

LUNA camera
Ground control station of the LUNA x-2000 system

The LUNA ( L uftgestützte U nbemannte N ahaufklärungs- A usstattung) (also known as LUNA X-2000 hereinafter) is a German UAV . It is built by the Upper Bavarian company EMT in Penzberg and Iffeldorf and has been used by the German Armed Forces in operational areas for reconnaissance since March 2000 .


Through reconnaissance within a radius of 100 kilometers, information is transmitted to the ground control station. The aircraft takes off with the help of a catapult . Landing takes place on a parachute or by means of a net landing with an autonomous landing approach. The flight route is programmed before take-off, but can also be changed from the ground station during the flight course.

The reconnaissance data is transmitted in real time over a duplex microwave link in the C-band . Control commands to correct the flight course can be entered via an uplink . The video signals are transmitted via a downlink .

Program development

In October 1997, a study contract was signed between the EMT company and the Federal Office for Defense Technology and Procurement , which regulated development and procurement. In March 2000, the Bundeswehr used a Luna for the first time; it was used as part of the KFOR mission in Kosovo. On August 30, 2002, the procurement contract for 12 ground stations with 40 aircraft was finally signed.

LUNA has had a military type approval of category 2 since August 25, 2003. With this approval, the drone may be used outside of restricted areas and over sparsely populated areas. However, use in normal air traffic is not permitted. On September 10, 2003 the traffic license and the official commissioning for flight operations took place. As an aircraft registration number, the Bundeswehr often uses the registration number beginning with 90, e.g. 90 + 15, 90 + 31.

An improved version of the LUNA drone is under development at EMT under the name LUNA NG . The LUNA NG can take more payload and fly longer and faster.

System elements

  • Launch catapult
  • Repair cabin
  • antenna
  • Ground control station
  • drone
  • Network landing system


The following cameras and sensors are used for this:

  • 1 × color video CCD camera for the pilot's view
  • 1 × 3-axis stabilized, swiveling, modular sensor platform
  • 4 × downward looking color video cameras
  • optional: thermal imaging camera (Zeiss ATTICA C384 MW D)
  • optional: NIR video camera

Use and stakes

The drone has been used successfully by the German Armed Forces since March 2000 until today in various areas such as Afghanistan , North Macedonia and Kosovo and made its 5,000th flight in early 2009. According to the Ministry of Defense, as of May 27, 2013, around 7,000 flights had been completed.

In March 2002 EMT carried out reconnaissance missions on behalf of the Norwegian armed forces with the German LUNA X-2000 with the registration number 99 + 15 during the NATO maneuver Strong Resolve.

In 2007 the gross unit price was around EUR 275,000. From 2003 to 2013, the reconnaissance drones completed 12,456 flight hours.

By June 2014 a total of 142 reconnaissance drones had been delivered, of which 84 were in the Bundeswehr's “usable inventory” at that time.

Two drones of the Bundeswehr were of Frank-Walter Steinmeier of the OSCE for use in the current war in Ukraine offered. But below minus 19 degrees the drone threatens to crash and at an altitude of between 3,000 and 5,000 meters above sea level this is currently (as of October 2014) in the Ukraine.

After a series of six flight interruptions due to the loss of the navigation signal from GPS satellites, the Bundeswehr imposed a restriction on flight operations in May 2015.

In May 2016, as part of the MINUSMA mission, the Luna reconnaissance drone was stationed with the German contingent in Gao in Mali .


In addition to the Bundeswehr, Pakistan also uses drones to monitor the tribal areas in northwestern Pakistan, which are difficult to access.

Another export customer is Saudi Arabia .

Incidents and losses

As of May 27, 2013, 52 of the drones crashed, according to the German Ministry of Defense. The crashes took place from 2004 to 2012 in Afghanistan (40), Kosovo (5) and on military training areas (7).

For years there has been a "video" on YouTube that consists of only a few blurred images. It allegedly shows the near collision of a Luna drone over Kabul with an Airbus of the Afghan airline Ariana Afghan Airlines ; the drone is said to have crashed afterwards due to the vortex caused by the passenger Airbus.

At the end of June 2013, the Federal Ministry of Defense published statements on the question of how many drones crashed, crashed or lost.

A total of 58 aircraft were lost by June 2014, 47 of which were destroyed (24 through crashes) and 11 were considered missing.

Technical specifications

All data refer to the manufacturer's information: LUNA and LUNA NG

version LUNA LUNA NG
span 4.17 m 5.3 m
length 2.36 m 3.0 m
height 0.87 m 1.1 m
Takeoff mass <40 kg <90 kg
Max. speed 70 km / h 90 km / h
Max. Flight altitude (ISA) 5000 m > 5000 m
Max. Flight duration 6–8 hours 12 hours
Data link range > 100 km > 100 km
Engine Two-cylinder two-stroke engine (Hirth 4102) Wankel engine (Cubewano Reno42)


Web links

Commons : Luna x-2000  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d Reply of the Ministry of Defense ( memento of July 2, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 856 kB) to a request from the Bundestag member Paul Schäfer von der Linken, June 7, 2013
  2. dipbt.bundestag.de (PDF)
  3. Overview: Bundeswehr drones and drone losses. Press and Information Office in the Federal Ministry of Defense , August 20, 2014, accessed on April 9, 2015 .
  4. Bundeswehr drones are not suitable for the Ukrainian winter. RIA Novosti ; Retrieved October 20, 2014
  5. Bundeswehr bans drone from flying. Welt Online , May 15, 2015, accessed May 16, 2016 .
  6. After fighting in Pakistan - Jung criticizes US attacks. In: Süddeutsche. Retrieved March 5, 2012 .
  7. The customer is king. Amnesty International, accessed April 5, 2012 .
  8. New drone project . In: Der Spiegel . No. 25 , 2013, p. 11 ( online ).
  9. Every seventh Bundeswehr drone crashes . In: FASZ , June 22, 2013
  10. ^ Spiegel.de: "Luna" drone: Bundeswehr hid near-crash with Airbus. Retrieved June 2, 2013 .
  11. t-online.de: German drone almost collided with Airbus. Retrieved June 2, 2013 .
  12. FAZ June 29, 2013: Tell me where the drones are
  13. EMT Penzberg: Luna technical data. 2013, accessed April 28, 2013 .
  14. EMT Penzberg: Luna technical data. 2013, accessed April 28, 2013 .