To fight against the Russian invader, the Ukrainian army plans to acquire a million drones this year. Indispensable on the ground, these drones make maneuvers transparent and have completely changed the way war is conducted. Explanations.
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[EN VIDÉO] Military drones What are the different types of military drones used for?
Drones costing a few hundred or thousand euros to destroy machines worth several million. Faced with enormous Russian resources and a lack of ammunition, this is the strategy that Ukraine is relying on to resist by reducing the opposing forces. On the social networkssocial networks, there are numerous images showing the results of drone strikes on armored vehicles, artillery, electronic warfare systems or even troops. These drones would cause enormous damage on the Russian side, according to figures communicated by the Ukrainian forces. Over a single week at the beginning of November, they would have achieved a record by destroying 36 tanks, 83 armored vehicles, 6 launcherslaunchers multiple rockets, or even 53 cannons and neutralized 317 soldiers and numerous other miscellaneous equipment.
And this would only be the beginning, because the Department of Defense Ukraine has announced its desire to have an armada of one million drones this year. With its warground experience, Kyiv could well become a world leader in drone production and design. The war economy is operating at full capacity for drones. To produce quickly and at low cost, the population is called upon to assemble small FPV drones. For long-range military vehicles, like the new AQ 400 Scythe, it’s rustic with a fuselagefuselage in plywoodplywood from furniture factories and thermal motorthermal motor small displacement. This basic, but effective design makes it possible to produce in massemasse with a goal, in the case of Scythe, of 1,000 suicide drones per month.
Destruction of a Russian T-72 tank costing several hundred thousand euros by an FPV suicide drone worth a few hundred. © Euromaiden Press
The drone changes tactics on the ground
These drones, which are much more numerous than the number of Ukrainian forces, are also changing the way war is waged. Drone swarms on the front line provide a battlefield transparenttransparent where we can follow in real time the movementsmovements of troops. It becomes almost impossible to hide concentrations of armor to prepare for an offensive. At the slightest attempt at a breakthrough, a deluge of artillery and suicide drones comes to thin the troops. It is because of these drones, but also fortified positions, that the front seems frozen and that the Russian territorial gains are slipping, as much as those of the Ukrainians.
Drones have evolved tactics and now attacks take the form of infiltrations with few troops and artillery support. This process makes it easier to hide combatants from eyeseyes drones. The nature of the terrain can also make the use of drones easier or more complicated. Thus, to reach their target, FPV suicide drones are preferably piloted from heights so as not to lose the radio link. Drones also dictate the choice of combat times. The attacks mainly take place before sunrise or after sunset. soleilsoleil, times when drones become blind. Much more expensive, drones equipped with cameras infraredinfrared exist, but are much fewer in number to cover the front.
If drones are revolutionizing the way war is conducted on the ground, their losses are also colossal. According to a report from think tank British Royal United Services Institute, Ukraine would lose around 300 drones per day due to Russian jamming systems distributed every 10 kilometers on the front line. These would essentially be small commercial quadcopter drones. To compensate for these losses and block the enemy’s breakthroughs, it is therefore necessary to produce them massively, quickly and at low cost. These designs, which are sometimes almost artisanal, also allow us to be less dependent on manufacturers like the Chinese DJI.
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