Drones filling the skies over Ukraine battlefields – Asia Times

Drones filling the skies over Ukraine battlefields - Asia Times

Vehicles, when the greats of earth conflict, are increasingly being sidelined by&nbsp, robotic flying vehicles&nbsp, in Ukraine. Drones, often deployed as alternatives to traditional weaponry, have been patrolling the clouds, dropping bombs on humans and large armor everywhere. Soldiers who are firmly rooted in battle zones then dread the menacing buzz overhead, which indicates that a drone might be ready to launch its deadly payload when it is armed and prepared.

Has the robot era of the dead has arrived yet?

Robots serve various tasks on the&nbsp, Ukrainian field, including conducting surveillance missions, directing weaponry, &nbsp, transporting soldiers, and carrying out attacks by deploying bombs. The first- person- view ( FPV ) drones that drop explosives or can be used as kamikaze drones, wreak havoc across the battlefield. One Russian man recently&nbsp, pleaded&nbsp, on social media for pumps firearms to help prevent Ukrainian drones because” they’re essentially burning us”.

Different elements of war are being altered by robots in Ukraine. Because they produce smaller&nbsp, dust sky, both armies have begun using riders as alternatives to armoured vehicles. A man riding a bicycle is less likely to be spotted by a helicopter, but having more flexibility and a lower name on the field are more important than having a lot of security.

A DJI Mavic 3 Pro helicopter from the Liut Brigade. Photo: David Kirichenko

Newest Persian glide weapons

A German expert in weapons discovered that the most recent guided underwater bomb was planted by Iran on a drone that Russian forces had been using to attack Ukraine and crashed in the Kursk region on May 26.

Kostyantyn Mynailenko, a commander of an aerial reconnaissance unit in the Liut ( “Fury” ) Brigade, which is an assault brigade of the National Police of Ukraine, shared some details with us.

He explained that none of the unit’s aircraft received any formal instruction in using robots; instead, they all learned from the experience. On the field, according to Mynailenko, is the quickest and most effective way to learn drone apply.

However, any errors on the field can be dangerous. According to Mynailenko, a different product lost three helicopter pilots on the front line because they made the simple blunder of concealing their location and frequency. The Russians immediately recognized their site and ordered a hit on their position as they revealed themselves.

Both sides prioritize removing their seasoned helicopter pilots from the field. ” Citizens think that if they become a helicopter pilot, they will be protected if they join the army, but that’s far from reality”, Mynailenko said.

But, Mynailenko gushed that his Fury Brigade device had the lowest drone losses and highest strike rate in a year, despite losing only 64 drones in an eight-month period.

Unmanned aerial vehicles are rapidly taking over the field. A new report highlighted how&nbsp, Ukraine&nbsp, needed to pull US- provided M1A1 Abrams key challenge vehicles from the field, due to their vulnerability to drones. In consequence, drone combat moves ever closer to who has the upper hand in electronic warfare. The&nbsp, Wall Street Journal&nbsp, recently reported that American drones being used in Ukraine have been unable to fend off” Russian jamming and GPS blackout technology”.

According to Vasyl Shyshola, a commander in an aerial reconnaissance unit from the 128th Separate Mountain Assault Brigade, electronic warfare is making drone missions harder to fly. ” Jamming can be so intense in one area that we lose signal and retreat to keep the drone”

Ukrainian soldiers can even lose their signal within a mile of flying due to Russian&nbsp, jamming. One of the areas in which the Russians have demonstrated high competence is electronic warfare. They use their jamming&nbsp, technology&nbsp, to overpower Ukrainian signals by broadcasting on the same frequencies, but at much higher power.

Mynailenko stated that his organization is” constantly trying to find gaps, attempting to identify different altitudes where we can fly and avoid jamming.” They make a temporary breakthrough on the battlefield if they can find an altitude that works and quickly adjust and fly through it.

Only temporary. As will Ukrainians and Russians eventually adapt their jammers to the new frequency range. Both parties make an effort to move drone frequencies to bands that are not jammed.

Mynailenko also speculated that the next year’s development of drones will concentrate on developing their nighttime performance capabilities.

In any case, he is firmly convinced that, at least on the battlefield in Ukraine, warfare will continue to morph into a drone war.

A large” Baba Yaga” multirotor drone is being used by the 109th Separate Territorial Defense Brigade for nighttime operations. Photo: Dmytro Lysenko

Lingering questions remain: To what extent will&nbsp, AI- enabled&nbsp, drones alter the battlefield? Will drones be in a fight more frequently? What will happen if fully autonomous drones compete with one another to kill each other in flight and decide between themselves in the air above? Are&nbsp, drone- zapping laser weapons&nbsp, going to make a difference soon?

Drones ‘ growing importance on the battlefield will continue, whether it’s through greater autonomy or by supporting other weapon systems. In February 2024, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky&nbsp, signed&nbsp, a decree to establish a separate branch of forces – the Unmanned Systems Forces. Both sides are working hard to develop technology, as Mynailenko pointed out, whether it is to make drones more resistant to jamming or to improve the targeting of night drone operations.

Drones alone wo n’t be able to predict a battle’s outcome, but they will be crucial for military planners in the future.

Many of Russia’s attacks on Ukrainian positions are thwarted by Ukrainian infantry supported by FPV drones. These are primarily off-the-shelf drones that any typical drone enthusiast will fly. The most well-known DJI Mavic 3 is the most well-known, and both Russian and Ukrainian units have modified it for combat use. However, because they’re simple commercial drones, they’re also easily susceptible to jamming technologies.

Up to 90 % of the Ukrainian soldiers who survived to a stabilization point have been hit by an FPV drone or by explosives dropped by the drone, according to some accounts.

Dmytro Lysenko, a drone pilot for the 109th Separate Territorial Defense Brigade of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, is on a nearly daily hunt in the Donetsk region for Russian soldiers and heavy armor. When he drops explosives on Russian soldiers, he feels a certain unease.

He said,” Even when we drop explosives from drones on Russians,”” I occasionally shiver and feel discomfort because I remember all those times I was sitting in a trench. The Russians would aimlessly shoot at us whenever they could. But the drone was the scariest. A shell can fly and miss and that’s it. However, a drone pilot sets sights and will be very precise when they drop an explosive.

If a drone does n’t appear in the skywatching movements, then there is no visibility into the tactical situation on the ground.

A significant portion of the drone-drop ammunition used by Ukrainian soldiers is still being produced in improvised workshops close to the front. The 108th Separate Territorial Defense Brigade’s drone unit commander Oleksiy Tymofeev shared that his unit prints components using a 3D printer to secure and print explosives used in attacks on Russian positions. Operators of drones can quickly produce and iterate the necessary parts with this setup.

Mynailenko emphasized,” Everything is shifting to a war of FPVs. The conflict is quickly turning into a drone war. When Ukrainian units lacked artillery to fire or were forced to ration shells, they used FPVs as much as they could to hit targets over the past few months.

Because “our old shells are not that accurate,” Mynailenko claimed drones are currently more effective than artillery. But that is only to a certain degree, as Stacie Pettyjohn notes in a&nbsp, publication&nbsp, for the War on the Rocks defense analysis site. Even large numbers of small drones ca n’t compete with the volume or potency of artillery fire, and so ca n’t replace howitzers,” she claims.

According to Mynailenko, the result is that it is now becoming more difficult to see Russian heavy armor on the front. We will use an FPV drone, attach an RPG warhead, and neutralize that heavy armor if a Russian BMP emerges that is worth millions of dollars, Mynailenko said.

Like the Russian side, the Ukrainians use Mavic 3 drones for surveillance and reconnaissance.

David Kirichenko&nbsp, is a Ukrainian- American security engineer and freelance journalist. Since Russia’s full- scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022 he has taken a civilian&nbsp, activist role.

The Kiev Post published this article for the first time. It is republished here with permission.