Ukraine war: Russia's hunt for 'drone-killer UAV concept' revealed


 | Updated: Mar 01, 2022, 08:05 PM IST

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had brushed aside Western criticism of Kyiv using a Turkish-made drone in its conflict with pro-Moscow rebels.

Uncrewed aerial systems & electronic warfare

Russia has deployed its heavy arsenal in an attempt to annex Ukraine. Putin's regime was clearly planning the attack on Ukraine for months as it deployed its weapons along the border with Ukraine.

The Russian defence ministry had deployed advanced drones along the border amid tensions with Ukraine.

As the drone war hots up, nations are now rapidly trying to work on their counter-uncrewed aerial systems (UAS) and electronic warfare (EW) in order to get an edge.


UAVs in the Syrian conflict

Russia has advanced UAV programmes with its world-class Orion combat drone. Russia has used its expertise in UAVs in the Syrian conflict since 2015.

Russia reportedly uses EW training as part of its drill. The country had reportedly used counter-UAV exercises while deploying the Silok-01 R-934BMV jamming station.

It can reportedly render the UAS toothless by disabling the communication system.


NATO eyes counter-drone system

NATO is planning to deploy the Electronic Networked Technology (SAPIENT) counter-drone solution. Last month the UK had said it had tested the Electronic Networked Technology(SAPIENT) with NATO.

The UK said it might use SAPIENT as a "counter-drone system". The UK said it had already adopted the technology as the standard to counter uncrewed air systems (UASs).

Turkey reportedly uses KORAL which is a land-based radar EW system. The system is designed to jam radars. KORAL conducts intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and degrades combat capabilities of drones.

Turkey reportedly used KORAl in Syria, Azerbaijan and Libya.

Clearly, the modern battlefield is changing with state of the art drone capability available to various nations.


Ukraine uses Turkey's Bayraktar drone

The war in Ukraine has led the Zelensky government to request Germany for a range of equipment including anti-aircraft rocket systems, anti-drone rifles, microwave destruction systems and munitions.

Amid the raging war, footage released on social media by Valery Zaluzhny, the chief commander of the armed forces of Ukraine on Sunday appeared to show a Russian missile system being destroyed by a drone.

In a Facebook post, Zaluzhny says a Turkish-made Bayraktar drone was used to destroy the Russian machinery in the area around the city of Malyn in the Zhytomyr region.

At least 352 civilians, including 14 children, have been killed and 1,684 people have been wounded since fighting began while the numbers of killed and wounded Ukrainian and Russian soldiers is unknown.


Putin slams Turkey's TB2 Bayraktar drone used by Ukraine

Russia had in fact offered the Orion-E combat unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for export. The Orion-E drone is expected to provide stiff competition to Turkey’s Bayraktar drone.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had earlier criticised Kiev for deploying Turkish-made drones in its conflict with pro-Moscow separatists during a call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Ukrainian army had released footage of what it said was its first use of the Turkish-made TB2 Bayraktar drone against separatists in the east of the country where it has been fighting a trench conflict since 2014.

The move was met with criticism from Russia and also Kiev's Western allies.


Turkey, Israel supply drones

Both Turkey and Israel have recently been selling drones in the former Soviet Union and they played a key role Azerbaijan's victory over Russia's ally Armenia in last year's Nagorno-Karabakh war.

Russia and Turkey have historically had complex relations, balancing regional rivalries with finding common ground on economic and strategic interests.


Ukraine claims it is 'defending its territory'

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had brushed aside Western criticism of Kyiv using a Turkish-made drone in its conflict with pro-Moscow rebels, saying his country was "defending its territory."

The introduction of the drone is being seen as a potential gamechanger in the Russian-Ukraine struggle.

International monitors in eastern Ukraine, who use unmanned aircraft to report ceasefire violations, have recently said their drones were being jammed.

President Vladimir Putin had earlier told his defence chiefs to work on further developing Russia's arsenal of drones, especially through artificial intelligence.


Artificial intelligence in Orion

 Putin said the military already had more than 2,000 drones at its disposal. The Russian President said  drones had proven their effectiveness in recent conflicts and that Russia had developed defences against their use, including against "terrorist drone attacks" in Syria.

In fact, Kronshtadt Company had said unmanned aerial vehicles like the Orion are becoming more autonomous with the introduction of artificial intelligence.

Drone development is part of a major push for weapons development under Putin, who has made increased Russian military might a cornerstone of his two-decade rule.

A new generation of the Sukhoi stealth fighter jet -- dubbed "The Checkmate" -- was unveiled last year with the ability to carry and launch drones in flight.