Drones, how they changed the course of the war in Ukraine

Drones, how they changed the course of the war in Ukraine


Bayraktar drones were instrumental in the defense of Ukraine against the Russian invasion. From land armored vehicles to ships around Snake Island, these deadly systems produced by the Turkish company Baykar have seriously challenged the forces of Moscow. And although the invasion is still ongoing, Baykar intends to start construction of a drone production plant in Ukraine, which will be completed in the next two years.

The agreement for the construction of the plant it dates back to a few months before the invasion began, which took place on February 24, 2022, and the company's chief executive, Haluk Bayraktar, confirmed to Reuters that the works are progressing, despite the obstacles due to the continuous Russian attacks. Ukraine occupies a prominent place in Baykar's drone supply chain, especially with regard to the new Akinci heavy-lifter drone and the unmanned fighter Kizilelma, or Golden Apple, currently under development. Both, in fact, use Ukrainian engines from Motor Sich and Ivchenko-Progress.

Thanks to its effectiveness, the Bayraktar TB2 drone has gained such notoriety among the public that the Ukrainians have dedicated a song to it and many allies have launched unprecedented crowdfunding campaigns to buy more. The massive use of drones, both military and civilian, made the conflict in Ukraine the first real war fought with these weapons, both by the invaders and the Ukrainian resistance.

When Russia entered Ukraine in February 2022, his army's initial success was partly due to the lessons learned from the first use of drones during the annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014. In that operation, the Russian military integrated drones into ground tactics to track Ukrainian forces and regulate artillery strikes to destroy them.

According to some intelligence reports released in the months of the conflict, in the first days of the invasion of 2022, Russia deployed about 500 drones worth 9 billion dollars as the main tool for coordinating artillery missions. Reports indicate that although drones weren't as sophisticated as their Western counterparts, they were very advanced in terms of integration.

What do we know about Iran's drones used in Ukraine Russia continues to deny buying weapons from Iran, but the diplomats of the Islamic Republic say something else. NATO is preparing to send hundreds of devices to Ukraine to disturb the GPS signal of drones

Russian drones

The Russian drone fleet is not as diverse as NATO's, but it is capable of handling many missions different. Among the little ones are the Zala Kyb and the Eleron-3SV, designed to be stealthily launched from ground crews and silently penetrate enemy territory. These can also be used for reconnaissance, but the Zala Kyb is actually classified as a circulating ammunition, meaning it can lock onto a target, station, change trajectory, hit and explode.

In the mid-range there is is the Orlan-10, which is the most common Russian drone and has been used not only in Ukraine but also in Syria. It is mainly used for surveillance and reconnaissance and carries with it a laser target designation system. Less well known is the Kronshtadt Orion. Designed for precision attacks and reconnaissance, information on it is scarce, although its capabilities appear to be similar to those of the American Predators.

In addition to these, it appears that Russia is accelerating entry into service of its jet-propelled S-70B Okhotnik prototype ahead of its scheduled debut in 2024. The prototype has only recently launched its first missiles during testing and most of the details about it are highly confidential. However, its appearance is very similar to that of the Lockheed Martin RQ-170 and appears to have a large operating range with capabilities for air-to-air and air-to-ground operations. Furthermore, also due to Western sanctions and the chip crisis, Moscow is using the Iranian drones Shahed-136, hahed-129, Shahed-191 and Qods Mohajer-6.

The drones and missiles that the Iran promised Russia After the first models of aircraft used to bomb Ukraine's cities, Tehran could provide Putin with other weapons to compensate for the shortage of ammunition. Here are the ones that fill the Iranian arsenal

Ukrainian drones

Before the invasion of Crimea the country did not have any drones, but in the last eight years the Ukrainian armed forces have created a small fleet of 300 based drones on the A1-SM Fury and on the reconnaissance Leleka-100, to which the aforementioned Bayraktar TB2, a medium altitude and long endurance drone of Turkish manufacture, which has an autonomy of 27 hours, flies at 7620 meters tall and can carry out reconnaissance and ground attack missions using four laser-guided bombs mounted under the 12-meter wings. In addition to these, Ukraine also has large Soviet-era Tu-141 reconnaissance drones and small US Switchblade drones. Like the Russian Zala Kyb, the Switchblade is a soldier-carrying ammunition that can fly for 40 minutes and carries a warhead large enough to penetrate the armor of tanks.

Among Western supplies, Ukraine is receiving the US Phoenix Ghost. These are also circulating ammunition that can attack both vehicles and individual soldiers and join the Furias, Pumas, ScanEagle surveillance drones and Turkish Ankas. There was also talk of Ukraine's purchase of four American MQ-1C Gray Eagle drones armed with Hellfire missiles, but Washington opposed it for fear that one of the aircraft could fall into Russian hands. Meanwhile, Norway and Britain are donating Black Hornet microdrones, which look like toy helicopters and are small enough to fit in a soldier's palm for urban reconnaissance operations.

This list is far from exhaustive. , because Ukraine has also deployed swarms of commercially available civilian drones. At a cost of a few hundred dollars, they were used by regular forces, paramilitary groups and civilians, some of which were modified to carry hand grenades. They have proven effective, but the improvement of Russian air defenses and disturbance systems has increasingly thwarted them.

Russia continues bombing civilian targets in Ukraine Iranian drones have been used to hit civilian targets and energy infrastructure. The United States and the European Union consider funding Starlink to ensure internet connections for the Ukrainian population

The effects on the battlefield

Ukraine's use of drones was instrumental in changing the course of the war, in how much Russia's resources have been degraded, reducing its reconnaissance capacity and forcing it to conduct artillery attacks without having access to precise coordinates. On the contrary, Ukraine has been able to use its drones, large and small, to launch effective attacks without wasting resources and reducing human losses. This allowed Ukraine to cut off supply lines, attack air defense systems, and even sink ships.

In addition, sanctions imposed on the Russian defense and aerospace sector have made maintenance and maintenance extremely difficult and the replacement of drones. However, Russia still has advanced anti - aircraft systems and has been able to disrupt Ukrainian control signals, disable radio communications and directly attack aircraft. These defenses have been better organized and planned with more care with the slowing and stalling of the Russian advance, but Ukraine has advanced Western technologies capable of countering them, by changing frequencies and programming drones to perform evasive maneuvers up to when it is not possible to re-establish contact with the operators.

Powered by Blogger.