August 13, 2022

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Why Ukrainian drones have become ineffective against Russia

Why Ukrainian drones have become ineffective against Russia

In the early days of the war in Ukraine, drones emerged as an unexpected source of victory over Russian forces.

Success stories dominated the news cycle, featured on multiple videos circulated widely on social media, showing Ukrainian drones decimating the chaotic Russian developments.

Ukrainian Air Force dedicated drone, from Mini drones for consumers They are usually used for surveillance of the famous Bayraktar TB2 drones of Turkish design, which are credited with Disemboweling Putin’s tanks and armor.

But Russia learned from the humiliation of the drones in the early months of the invasion. Experts told Insider that the weapons-marveling drone has become increasingly ineffective as Russia has improved its defense systems and is shooting down and jamming many Ukrainian drones.

“What is happening now is that the electronic warfare and air defenses of Russia are better organized and fielded than in the months prior to the war,” Samuel Bendet, an analyst and expert on robotic and military systems, said at the conference. Marine Analysis Center.

Russian forces use early warning radars to identify UAVs and electronic warfare systems Bendit said to jam and disrupt their communications.

They also use various weapons such as machine guns and air defense systems, such as the Tor missile system, to shoot down drones.

Recently shots From the Russian Ministry of Defense claimed to show the Krasukha-S4 electronic warfare system in action, taking out a Ukrainian UAV.

According to Mark Kansian, an analyst at Center for Strategic and International StudiesPreviously, Ukraine was able to use drones very effectively because Russia did not regulate its defense systems.

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“UAVs were able to play such a role because the Russians were slow to create an air defense system. They were slow to create the combined arms operation (armor, infantry, artillery, reconnaissance, engineers, air defense) that their doctrine called for,” he said.

A video clip shows a kamikaze drone striking a Russian tank.

A Ukrainian kamikaze drone hit a Russian tank.

Screengrab / Ukrainian Special Operations Forces


Russia has better organized and placed its ground-based air defense in the Donbass region, where the focus of the war has shifted.

Ukrainian forces are now limiting their use of drones because Russian forces thwart them more easily, and losing the drones can be costly.

While single-use drones like the Switchblade and Phoenix Ghost cost several thousand dollars each, TB2 drones can cost between 1-2 million dollars each.

Ukraine received about 50 TB2 drones From the Turkish arms company Baykar since the start of the Russian invasion.

Terminal 2s were ruthlessly functional in the early days of the war Russia brought it downAnd the Ukrainian military is reducing their use.

Recently there have been reports that the United States is planning to sell Ukraine to the US-made General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle armed droneswhich have greater capabilities than TB2s.

However, two Ukrainian Air Force pilots have not been identified war zone They don’t advocate the drones due to their high price tag of $10 million each, as they would likely be shot down on their first mission.

According to Sancian, Russia’s air defenses are almost entirely short, and medium-range missiles and drones are particularly vulnerable because they fly at a low and slow altitude.

“Ukrainian pilots I spoke to say that the role of drones is now limited as a result,” he said.

Instead, Ukrainian forces defended modern combat aircraft from their Western allies.

Ukrainian soldier shoots Russian drone

A Ukrainian soldier shoots a Russian drone with an assault rifle from a trench on the front line east of Kharkiv, March 31, 2022.

FADEL SENNA / AFP via Getty Images


While Ukrainian drones are becoming less effective in this new phase of the war, Russia is flying as many, if not more, of its drones, especially for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions, said Bendet, an expert with the Central News Agency.

One of the soldiers said that the Ukrainians lacked the weapons to bring them down Sunday times: “We can’t see the Russian drones, but they can see us. The only thing we can do is hide.”

Bendet said the next few weeks will likely involve the Russian military, which is seeking to better organize and continue to press ahead with its offensive.

“It’s trying to trap Ukrainians in pockets around certain cities and towns and it’s just trying to push and grind Ukrainian defenses in general. Drones play a key role in providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to the Russians so they can launch strikes,” Bendet said.

“So we’ll see drones on the Russian side, assuming that going forward is probably more important, assuming the war continues as it is now.”