Swarms of killer drones buzz over Ukraine

According to a Ukrainian online publication defense express, citing Iranian data, the delta-winged Shahed is 3.5 meters long, 2.5.5 meters wide and weighs about 200 kilograms. It has a 50 hp engine and a top speed of 185 km/h.


Drones have already been deployed in Yemen and were also used in last year’s deadly oil tanker attacks, said Venham Ben Talebul, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracy, a Washington-based think tank. The cruising range is said to be about 1000 km.

New drone technology does not require sacrificing trained personnel or spending large sums on manufacturing sophisticated aircraft to reach its targets.

In the attack on the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on Monday, mayor Vitali Klitschko said 28 drones made a continuous attack wave. Drones fired in quick succession from the Truck Launcher can fly low and slowly, avoiding radar detection. They can also overwhelm targets and overwhelm defenses, especially in civilian areas.


However, according to Mykola Bielieskov, a research fellow at the National Institute of Strategic Studies of Ukraine, Shahed can only carry 40 kilograms of explosives, compared to the explosive power of a conventional missile’s 480 kilogram warhead, which can be launched at much longer distances. It looks inferior. range.

“It is difficult to hit serious targets with such drones,” said Bielieskov.

Small punch but low cost

At just $20,000 ($31,760) each, Shahed is just a fraction of a conventional full-size missile. For example, Russia’s Kalibr cruise missiles were widely used during the eight months of the war and cost the Russian military about $1 million each.

At such a low cost, Shahed can be mass-deployed to saturate targets. Whether it’s fuel depots, infrastructure or utilities like power plants and water stations.

Despite their small size, Shahed’s explosives look powerful enough to do damage. In Monday’s attack, one drone hit the operations center and another smashed into his five-story residential building, creating a large hole in the building and collapsing at least three of his apartments, leaving three a person died

Birieskov, of Ukraine’s National Strategic Institute, said the Russian military is choosing to use Shahed on civilian targets rather than on the battlefield.

The financial burden of the conflict will be even heavier for Moscow, which has not received billions of dollars in arms transfers from Western countries like Ukraine. When conflict becomes one of attrition in nature, finding cheaper and more powerful weapons becomes crucial to finding out who can bear the human, material and financial burden of it the longest.

For Moscow, Shahed seems like such an option.

“The Shahed-136 is a cheap version of a cruise missile that Russia cannot produce quickly,” said Bielieskov.

Taleblu said Russia is likely to continue to build up its long-range strike capabilities with Iranian drones and reportedly even missiles.

“This should alarm Europe and the world,” he said.

Russian officials have not released data on the number of missiles launched during the conflict, but Ukraine’s defense minister recently claimed that Russia used most of its high-precision missile arsenal. October.

Firefighters are at work after a drone attack on a building in Kyiv on

war of nerves

The constant hum of propeller-driven Shahed drones (Ukrainians call them “mopeds”) can terrify anyone below its flight path. The sound exacerbates anxiety and lowers morale. Because no one on the ground knows exactly when and where the weapon will strike.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky captured the drone’s terrorist element and posted on social media:

“Kamikaze drones and missiles are attacking all over Ukraine,” he added.

Bielieskov acknowledged that Shahed’s drone attacks had raised concerns that Ukraine’s air defenses were inadequate to deal with the threat. However, he said their use, even in large quantities, would not be enough to overturn Ukraine’s battlefield interests.

A drone is seen above, seconds before it opens fire on buildings in Kyiv.

A drone is seen above, seconds before it opens fire on buildings in

Terrorist weapons from the air are nothing new. Nazi Germany used them in the form of his V-1 flying bombs or “buzz bombs” during World War II. This is the earliest type of cruise missile in the form of a small aircraft that targets British cities.

Eighty years later, much smaller shahed can be guided to targets at much lower cost, and the Russian military has far more drones than the 9,500 “buzz bombs” that Nazi Germany fired at Britain. It may become possible to launch.

Swarms of killer drones buzz over Ukraine

Source link Swarms of killer drones buzz over Ukraine

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