Ukraine conflict and Drone Usage

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In today’s modern warfare era, the conflict in Ukraine has become the main testing ground for various weapons for both sides. After all, the reality is that what we see in Ukraine is more than just a conflict between two countries. On the contrary, it is a confrontation between the Western/NATO weapons and the Russian Weapons and Arms industry. And while there have been quite a few new weapons introduced in the conflict by both sides, it is imperative to look at drones as a modern innovation that can significantly shape the battlefield; their usage has been on the rise.

At the beginning of the War in February 2022, the Ukrainian side relied heavily on the Turkish-made Bayraktar BT2 drone. Despite the early success, the Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 has suffered from the Russian Air defense platforms.

Bayraktar BT2 drone

But the latest trend in this field is “Kamikaze Drones.” These drones are designed to be used as a weapon against enemy targets. The Ukrainian side used the Switchblade Kamikaze Drones supplied by the United States. These small kamikaze drones have had significant results so far in the war.

Switchblade Kamikaze Drone

On the other hand, the Russian Armed Forces have been using a few different drone models. The most notable that has been making the headlines is the Geranium – 2. This Iranian-made drone is an interesting piece of weapon. It can fly over 2500km with a maximum speed of 115 mph and carry a warhead. Nevertheless, it can be easily detected due to the sound that it makes rather than its Radar Signature. However, they are harder to get jammed or shot down by air defenses, so the Ukrainian Armed Forces have used Mig-29 fighter jets to intercept them and often a simple small arms fire. A pure asymmetrical theater.

Geranium – 2 Drone

Drones are also used for surveillance purposes, and they have been successful in helping soldiers keep track of enemies without risking their lives. Both sides have heavily relied on them as a tool to navigate the artillery.

The Russian side has had their domestic-made Orlan 10 drone as their main observation and guiding drone for artillery fire. Moreover, both sides have used commercial drones such as DJI Mavic 3 due to low cost compared to the more expensive military drone models.

Nevertheless, Ukraine and Russia have used a broad spectrum of systems, weapons, and tactics to counter the drone threat. For instance, the Russian Armed Forces have been strongly relying on electromagnetic rifles, which shoot electromagnetic pulses and disrupt the GPS systems of the drone.

Drones have changed how we perceive modern warfare regarding the strategic and tactical aspects of military planning. Ultimately, the increased usage of drones will become an inseparable part of the Armed Forces worldwide.

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