Watch: Drones Destroy Russian Assets

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The war in Ukraine has seen a huge spike in drone usage. While America had used large numbers of high end drones during the GWOT, the new war has developed a breed of inexpensive unmanned vehicles.

In addition to reconnaissance, drones in Ukraine have sometimes been used as platforms for missiles. More recently still, they are reviving the “kamikaze” practice of Imperial Japan, though with no pilots sacrificing themselves. Forbes reports:

A video that circulated online on Wednesday depicts a Ukrainian first-person-view racing drone, presumably laden with explosives, apparently trying to intercept a Russian air force Kamov Ka-52 attack helicopter—and nearly succeeding.

The speedy little quadcopter tails the Kamov until the helicopter’s two-person crew seems to notice the drone—and darts away. A two-pound, $3,000 DJI Mavic 3 FPV drone has a top speed of just 40 miles per hour. A 12-ton, $10-million Ka-52 can fly as fast as 200 miles per hour.

Drones are carefully working in cooperation with other Army branches. While the drones act as spotters, friendly artillery batteries knock out enemy systems such as air defense batteries.Newsweek reports:

Ukraine used the Shark drones to carry out reconnaissance, before striking five Russian “Buk” surface-to-air missile systems in the Moscow-controlled region with HIMARS missiles, eastern European news outlet NEXTA reported.

HIMARS have been used extensively by Ukrainian forces to target Russian positions and assets since the U.S. delivered the multiple-rocket launchers in June 2022.

Combined arms warfare has not changed much in doctrinal terms. The addition of cheap drones organically attached to low level units has given commanders new options to break the stalemate.

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