Fact Check

Does the Russian Army Use a Drone Named 'Supercum'?

Ukrainian forces shot down three Russian unmanned vehicles originally identified as "Supercum" drones.

Published May 16, 2023

Image Via Twitter
The Russian military uses drones labeled with the text "Supercum."

The Russian military uses drones labeled with the text "Supercam."

On May 16, 2023, the Facebook page of the Air Force Command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces posted news about the success of their air defenses in repelling a series of rocket attacks carried out by Russian aircraft, warships, and land-based missile launchers. As translated by Google:


Around 3:30 a.m. on May 16, 2023, the Russian invaders attacked Ukraine from the north, south, and east with 18 missiles of various types, air, sea, and land-based.

Six Kh-47M2 Kinzhal aeroballistic missiles were launched from six MiG-31K aircraft, 9 Kalibr cruise missiles were launched from ships in the Black Sea, and three land-based missiles (S-400, Iskander-M).

All missiles were destroyed by the forces and means of air defense of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The announcement also discussed the downing of three reconnaissance drones:

In addition, on the night of May 16, the enemy attacked with attack drones of the Shahed-136/131 type, and also conducted aerial reconnaissance with three operational-tactical drones - "Orlan-10", "Supercam". All destroyed!

Much to the delight of social media, the original version of this post, as well as the accompanying image, misspelled "Supercam" as "Supercum":

"Sadly," Vice News reported, "'Russian 'Supercum' aircraft are just a typo." The Facebook edit history of that post preserved the original misspelling: 

As documented by Vice, the misspelling was repeated widely and, in some cases, uncritically:

SuperCum was the one English word in the sea of Cyrllic text, which made it impossible to ignore. News of the SuperCum's destruction spread fast on the internet, with many people uncritically repeating the typo. It ended up on some pro-Russian Telegram channels and some war-watchers assumed the typo was propaganda designed to make Kyiv look foolish. It wasn't. SuperCum is merely an innocent typo [...].

Supercam drones, produced by the Russian company Unmanned Systems Group, are reconnaissance drones advertised largely for their civilian applications. This is not the first time Ukrainian forces downed a Supercam drone. In June 2022, the Ukrainian military captured a Supercam S450. 

Because "Supercum" is not the name of a Russia-built reconnaissance drone but is instead an unfortunate typo that went viral, we rate this claim as "False."


Gault, Matthew. "Sadly, Russian 'SuperCum' Aircraft Are Just a Typo." Vice, 16 May 2023, https://www.vice.com/en/article/bvjm8w/ukraine-russia-supercum-aircraft.

"ЗНИЩЕНО 6 "КИНДЖАЛІВ", 9 "КАЛІБРІВ" ТА ТРИ БАЛІСТИЧНІ РАКЕТИ." Facebook, Командування Повітряних Сил ЗСУ / Air Force Command of UA Armed Forces, https://www.facebook.com/kpszsu/posts/pfbid02kEwdTQPk8tDEmgDZ6J8scu4SKm52iAnyEcGjWaoRB3h9Vm4VCG8Usxu2SMzgF88Nl.

умолчанию, Администратор по. "About." SUPERCAM, https://en.supercam.aero/about. Accessed 16 May 2023.

Alex Kasprak is an investigative journalist and science writer reporting on scientific misinformation, online fraud, and financial crime.

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