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Saturday, September 23, 2023

Bot In Arms: Drones In The War Between Russia And Ukraine

Russia is surprised by Ukraine’s TB2-Bayraktar drones, supplied by Turkey.

Now the cat is out of the bag! Based on the latest updates in the Russia-Ukraine war, it seems that Putin is looking for a quick victory, but Ukraine is in no mood to give up. Proof of that are their autonomous drones, the Bayraktar TB2s. Laser-guided missiles have ripped through Armenia tanks and other vehicles with these TB2 Bayraktar drones, bought from Turkey. Armed with Russian air defenses, Armenians were powerless to stop them.


TB2 Bayraktar DronesΒ 

On the Baykar website, the TB2 UAV can fly up to 138 mph and carry four smart munitions, or up to 330 pounds. The drone can also carry an ISR payload. A drone of this size has a length of 39 feet, a wingspan of 21 feet, and an operational altitude of 18,000 feet. The system has also seen real-world action, providing a sense of its capabilities and drawbacks.

These TB2s are, however, not that new on the market. TB2 Bayraktars have been used in several conflicts recently. The Turkish government has used the system against both Syrian and Kurdish forces. In addition, it was used by the Azerbaijani military against Armenian forces in the Nagorno-Karabakh War in 2020, where it targeted older Russian-made air defense systems and tanks. But the outcome may be different against a more modern military.

More is to come. Ukraine has also developed a variety of small tactical drones, some of which carry lethal payloads. The Ukrainian company UKRINMASH lists 23 different types of drones in its latest catalog, plus 13 more in development, and states that its drone industry is world-class. Lieutenant Colonel Ty Shepard, a U.S. Army National Guard member advising the Delta Center, a Ukrainian command and control program, told Forbes that the Ukrainians have adapted to the new battlefield. He says Delta, which is staffed with about 40 specially selected graduates from Ukrainian military academies, is working to decrease the time it takes for information gathered by drones and CCTVs to reach the Ukrainian General Staff, increasing real-time awareness of the situation on the battlefield. Some of this intelligence is also shared with U.S. military attachΓ©s, who are analyzing it to better understand Russian capabilities.


Reply from Russia

The Bayraktar TB2s demonstrated how effective they are, but the Russian MoD has been developing drones for a long time, long before the Nagorno-Karabakh war of 2020 and even before its involvement in Syria. The drones are intended to destroy armed vehicles, including mobile surface-to-air missile launchers and heavy tanks.

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