Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine,regularly mentions the use of . Used by both the Russian and Ukrainian army, they are formidable force multipliers, whether to learn about enemy positions or strike them precisely. In the Ukrainian sky, there is therefore a whole panoply of drones of all shapes and sizes. This is the first high-intensity war where military drones, and even from the civilian sector, are used so extensively.
If drones have replaced combat aircraft to support ground troops or artillery, it is also because of air defense systems and long-range, radar-guided shoulder armaments. Neither of the two countries, and especially Russia, makes extensive use of its air force for fear of massive losses. Stealthier, easier to fly, fairly inexpensive, drones can be manipulated directly by infantry for intelligence or as weapons. We see images every day on the networks of precise strikes on armored vehicles or troops, carried out by these drones. On the Ukrainian side, in addition to these intelligence drones, there is also the terror of the skies, the Bayraktar TB2, awhich proved its effectiveness in its precise and destructive strikes against armor and logistics vehicles during the first weeks of the conflict. The variety of devices is such that it is difficult to describe them all, but Futura offers you an overview of the most used drones on both sides of this conflict, whether rotary wing drones, prowling munitions, or aircraft with a fixed wing.
From the general public who can hurt
Thecommercial ones and in particular those produced by the Chinese manufacturer DJI are employed by the two belligerents for short-range observation missions. Despite their low autonomy, they are practical because they can stay a few minutes in to examine a position or film a strike and ensure its effectiveness. By tinkering with them, the soldiers manage to make them carry light explosive charges or . It’s sometimes artisanal, but it works. The military also use 3D printers to create specific boxes to house ammunition diverted from their original use. These accessories are ingenious, but worry the intelligence services, because they could very well be replicated for terrorist actions all over the planet. In the Donbass, we find the Mavic range at DJI and even its Mini version which weighs 250 grams and can fit in a pocket. This type of short-range drone is also useful for urban combat to set up ambushes against armored vehicles. As another model popular with Ukrainians, but also separatist forces, there is also the American brand Autel and its Evo II range. According to the Ukrainian military, they would override the Russian jamming systems.
These drones with a maximum autonomy of 40 minutes can be modified to carry small Vog-17 30 mm grenades. In addition to these drones diverted from their civilian use, the Ukrainians also use mini-drones specially designed formilitary. This is the case of the Golden Eagle designed in the United States by Teal. Autonomy increases to almost an hour for this drone which looks like a consumer model, but which has an encrypted link and navigation that can do without GPS. This is also the case with the militarized American drones of the Skydio X2 brand.
Aerorozvidka: the air force of Ukrainian drones
In their military remote pilot unit ofalready mentioned by Futura, to carry out attacks on Russian armored vehicles, the Ukrainians use a homemade drone called R18. It is a large drone with eight rotors that can carry two anti-tank bombs of about two kilos. These drones are a real plague for Russian armored vehicles.
Artillery support drones are also employed by both armies. They make it possible to travel several tens of kilometers to facilitate the targeting of enemy positions. Rather than rotary-wing models, these are drones with wings that behave like small planes. Among the Russians,is almost permanently in the sky of Donbass to refine the settings of artillery fire. Futura had explained the artisanal side of this drone which is often shot down by Ukrainian forces. Its modernized Orlan-30 version is also present on the battlefields.
The Ukrainian army also has the PD-1, otherwise known as the “people’s drone”. It can be launched from a catapult, take off from a runway or vertically. It is used to direct artillery fire and followRussian forces. In addition to the Bayraktar TB2, Turkey has supplied Ukraine with its smaller brother, the . It has day or night optics and is used for surveillance. Finally, the Leleka-100, known as Stork, is a very active small drone in the Donbass where it performs thousands of reconnaissance missions.
At the level ofthat is to say drones enclosing an explosive charge and which come crashing down on a target to hit it, the Ukrainian army is equipped with a majority of and some American Switchblade 600s. These suicide drones are shot into the sky, via a launch tube. Their wings unfold and they will go after their target. Once detected, they sting on it. The 300 model is less powerful than the 600 version and will fail to destroy a heavy tank. Six times heavier, the Switchblade 600 carries a load equivalent to that of a anti-tank. For the moment, it does not seem to have been used in the field yet. Finally, as Futura had explained, the American Aevex Aerospace modified its suicide drone so that it meets the expectations of the Ukrainian military. More than 120 units are expected to arrive on the field. Its advantage is that it can stay for six hours in the . If its ammunition does not pierce the armor of a heavy tank, it can be used to neutralize Russian artillery. Among the Russians, the Zala KYB can be used both for reconnaissance and as a suicide drone. The drone can operate autonomously with its to lock onto its target and attack it.
La vedette Bayraktar TB2
The tenors of drones are large fixed-wing aircraft, endowed with substantial autonomy, capable of flying high and capable of carrying real missiles. Among the Russians, it is manufactured there also by Kyiv. The drone is used for air strikes with its 75mm bomb. Flexible, it can also be equipped with several other types of explosives., a 24-hour capable drone that is used for reconnaissance and strike missions. On the Ukrainian side, the star is undoubtedly the Turkish Bayraktar TB2. This drone was noted for its affordable price for an army, its performance and its destructive capacity with its four guided anti-tank missiles . The Bayraktar TB2 even got a popular song in the country. Since then, it’s been a war of numbers. The Russians indicate that they shot down 39 while the Ukraine only has 36. . In addition to this drone, the Ukrainian army operates its homemade UJ-22. The aircraft is primarily used for intelligence and as artillery support. It can, however, carry ammunition. Of much smaller dimensions, there is also the