#UKRAINERUSSIAWAR. Increased use of drones and anti-drone systems on the Ukrainian front


The Ukrainian-Russian conflict is the first medium-long term conventional war, at least this is what it appears now, which is being fought with the use of drones. Versatile tools, inexpensive or at least cost economically and not in human lives and which have a wide range of uses at the front: from reconnaissance, to dropping bombs or missiles, suicides, aiming for artillery and mechanized infantry. And now the Chinese army is testing ambulances for the evacuation of the wounded.

Since the beginning of the war on February 24, 2022, many changes have been made to the use of these tools also from a regulatory point of view. And the use is almost always dual use. If there are very many civilian drones modified to carry small bombs, it is more difficult to prevent the distorted use of this tool. Not only that, Russia more than the West has fielded anti-drone jammers and rifles and is now experimenting with the latest generation of anti-drone cannons and anti-drone robots.

On the Russian front we have seen the implementation of laws that prevent the use of drones for any reason. Especially in those regions that are up to 800 km from the Ukrainian border. Length passable by drones supplied to the Ukrainian army until now. Like, for example, the ban in the Voronezh region. But perhaps the most striking example of anti-drone law comes from Crimea where the sale of most types of pyrotechnics and civilian drone flights are banned for the period of the special operation, the law has been in effect since August 2022.

Then there is the stop to the sale of civilian drones to Russia as in the case of DJI and Autel which have banned the ordering of their drones from Aliexpress. DJI has also removed the controller app from the Russian AppStore. And the drones sold had limited functionality. DJI has responded to complaints from Russians that they were no longer providing them with their services.

In Ukraine until December 2018 in the Odessa region, for example, drone flights were limited and hunting was prohibited in Zaporizhia. Almost everywhere, the right to wear military uniforms and camouflage was restricted for civilians, and the sale of alcohol was restricted for military personnel.

Kamikaze drones are on the way to Ukraine from the UK Ministry of Defense thanks to a program to create kamikaze drones for use by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The reference is to the British company QinetiQ, which participates in the corresponding secret program, source The Drive. The American publication claims that under the leadership of the British military department, several experimental drones have been developed and tested in flight, some of which will be sent to Ukraine, for example, a delta-wing kamikaze drone printed on a 3D printer.

And still online are the job advertisements looking for experts to assemble small dual-use drones: “We are looking for talent”. Reads the announcement of a private brigade fighting with the Russians on telegram “We are looking for “engineers” to assemble / configure FPV Drones. Interesting work on the assembly and configuration of drones that will help the boys at the front”.

And in the meantime, new weapons are being tested. For example, special forces units of the Russian Armed Forces are using a new reconnaissance and attack system in Ukraine with small kamikaze drones, RIA Novosti reported, citing a source. These drones can automatically select the path to the target of destruction.

The Ukrainians are getting support against drones or new drones also via satellite from the Starlink system (we will talk about the war on satellites in other articles) and coming from the German defense company Rheinmetall automated reconnaissance systems with infrared cameras and drones worth tens of millions of euros, the company said in a statement.

“These reconnaissance systems, known as SurveilSPIRE, consist of mobile surveillance towers with day and night vision cameras, autopilot mini-UAVs, and control systems. Vehicles are also included in the package,” the company noted. German. In December the same company said it would give the Ukrainian Skynex.

The systems can be transported to their destination on trailers and have a crew of three. Operators study data from cameras and unmanned aerial vehicles, receiving video using the Starlink global satellite communications system and mobile communications in the 4G band. For the autonomous operation of the complex it was also equipped with solar panels.

The Russians on the other hand have very good detection systems and now for small dual use drones there is a cannon that makes them crash. Innovative jammer systems that allow drones to land earlier that they hit the target.

The recent incidents at the front, especially in Russian territory, suggest that there will be an escalation in the use of this flying instrument or vessel in war. “Drones filled with explosives attacked the Rosneft oil depot in the Krasnodar Territory,” the social sphere reads. The event took place on February 28 in Tuapse without serious consequences. Also on February 28, more Ukrainian drones flew up to the village of Novy, Giaginsky district of Adygea. Finally closed the airspace of St. Petersburg for unidentified object 160-200 km from the airport of the city. Airspace closed for a few hours.

In Russia, the General Staff is currently expecting attacks by drones and maritime drones on the Crimea and for cities such as St. Petersburg, flight plans called “Carpet” have been activated. drones.

And again on February 28 a UJ-22 air strike UAV fell near Kolomna, made by Ukrjet. The maximum flight range is 800 kilometers. Speed: about 130-140km/h. The minimum flight height is 50 meters. The maximum that such a machine can lift is about 15-20 kilograms – 30 F1 grenades or 4 rounds of RPG-7. The source of the publication reports that, probably, the drone suddenly lost altitude (probably ran out of fuel), snagged on trees and damaged the wing, and then fell. Probably the goal was to drop it on the power plant the UAV was loaded with C4.

On March 1, a massive drone strike was attempted on Crimea, six UAVs were shot down, four more were disabled with the help of electronic warfare source RF Ministry of Defense.

Then there are the overinformation panic attacks on March 2: Russian emergency services simultaneously received several appeals from residents of the Leningrad region about UFOs over Sosnovy Bor, Vyborg and even Bolshoi Gorelovo, writes TV channel 78 After a radar check, a conventional weather balloon was recorded, a balloon designed to study the atmosphere.

Finally there is the drone hunt which sometimes ends with the discovery of ammunition depots but not drones: “In the Kherson region, Russian police officers have discovered a tank ammunition depot. The arsenal was handed over to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation”.

The reconnaissance set out to verify the situation and avoid the intrusion of drones and Ukrainian military led in the forest belt in the Skadovsky district, with the help of quad optera, to the discovery of a hiding place. It contained 134 tank ammunition and 139 powder charges for them, as well as accompanying documentation in Ukrainian.

Graziella Giangiulio

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