According to CNN after the UAV Reaper incident, US drone routes in the Black Sea region are changing, which, however, limits the US ability to gather intelligence, citing a well-informed Pentagon source.
Another US official, also on condition of anonymity, commenting on the new routes called them part of an effort by President Joe Biden’s administration to continue to carefully avoid any incident that could escalate into a direct conflict with Russian forces. The official said that remote drone flights will continue “for a while”, although there is an “appetite” to return to routes close to Russian territory.
Meanwhile in Russia, for the avoidance of doubt, a new region has placed a flight ban on drones. This was announced by the governor of Stavropol, Vladimir Vladimirov, who imposed a ban on the use of civil drones in the region.
On the Ukrainian side, however, Kiev has formed the first three unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attack companies ready for combat operations, the country’s Minister of Digital Transformation Mikhail Fedorov said on 28 March.
“Today, the first three UAV attack companies are already ready for battle. Together with the partners, they are fully equipped. Pick-up trucks, attack helicopters and Starlink have been delivered. All drones are of Ukrainian manufacture. Equipment for the attack companies of the drone army was purchased from private donors,’ Fedorov said.
There have been numerous attempts to reach Russian soil by carrying out missions of attacks on ammunition depots or oil installations, some of which were successful, others not.
According to the Wall Street Journal artillery and multiple-launch rocket systems will be a key element to support the ground forces in a possible Ukrainian attempt in the coming months, since Kiev will not be able to provide air supremacy, as prescribed by the relevant NATO doctrines, due to an insufficient number of aircraft.
According to social sources, the drone army fielded for the Ukrainian forces amounts to 50,000 drones source Forbes. Secretary of the Council for Security and National Defence of Ukraine Danilov decided to show that Ukraine is capable of attacking with thousands of long-range UAVs that can cover distances of up to 3,000 km.
Assisting the Ukrainian drone army along with thermal imaging optics is the Starlink system, which has become an essential element in the combat control system of Ukraine’s armed forces.
And if in 2021, only a fairly small circle of ‘geeks’ and technology enthusiasts were talking about Elon Musk’s SpaceX company’s Starlink satellite internet, then this would be a good thing. In 2022-23, the word Starlink is familiar to anyone following the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
Starlink is a global satellite system deployed by SpaceX to provide high-speed broadband Internet access via satellite. Development of the project began in 2015, test prototypes were successfully launched on 22 February 2018. Currently, the satellite constellation has more than 3270 units.
The Russians in response to the fleet of drones for Ukrainian use started in the Kursk region the production of anti-drone guns. (see photo). The so-called PARS can forcibly land or send an enemy drone to the take-off site. These are electromagnetic guns. Almost immediately after appearing in the air, the UAVs lost contact with the control panel and were grounded.
The system is tested daily in Russian territories on the border with Ukraine to land small drones flying at low altitude from Ukraine to Russia.
To the fleet of aerial drones now have to be added maritime drones, used by the Ukrainians to attack Sevastopol without much success, now Turkey, since 29 March, has for the first time launched a cruise missile from a maritime surface UAV. Ismail Demir, head of Turkey’s defence, industry department, gave the news: ‘We continue to add new capabilities to our maritime unmanned vehicles. The KUZGUN solid-propellant cruise missile was launched from MARLIN for the first time, guided munitions were fired from a marine combat drone for the first time.”