US military assistance to Ukraine may include portable drones

  • Western countries have sent billions of weapons to Ukraine, including “kamikaze drones.”
  • During its invasion, Russia used such drones, called munitions, and others.
  • Future Western security assistance could include portable devices designed to shoot down these drones.

As the war in Ukraine enters its second month, the US, NATO and the EU continue to supply Kiev with weapons to fight Russian invaders.

Western countries have sent billions of weapons to Ukraine, including “kamikaze drones”, anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, machine guns, rifles, grenades, helmets and body armor.

Despite reports that Russia has moved its forces, fighting continues in some parts of Ukraine, including in cities where Russian troops are firing missiles, missiles and artillery.

As the war drags on, possibly with more brutal fighting in the city, the U.S. military is reportedly looking for ways to provide Ukraine with a confrontation with small drones – devices to destroy drones to shoot down Russian drones.

Drones and killer drones

Russian police drone of Ukraine

Ukrainian police inspect a downed Russian drone in northwest Kyiv, March 22, 2022.

FADEL SENNA / AFP via Getty Images

Unmanned aerial vehicles have become an integral part of modern warfare. First developed by the U.S. and Pentagon intelligence agencies, they began as intelligence, surveillance, and intelligence platforms.

They made their debut in the Balkans during the NATO campaign and the hunt for Serbian war criminals. During the war on terror, drones such as the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper played a more significant role in military and reconnaissance operations.

Armed with weapons such as the Hellfire AGM-114 missiles, they were increasingly used for close air support and accurate strikes, although drone strikes often resulted in collateral damage, including civilian casualties.

The drones could spend hours hovering over the target and monitoring the situation on the ground, providing commanders on the ground and in more remote headquarters with tactical reconnaissance and awareness of ground conditions.

“Drones can be dirty cheap, but deadly,” said a National Guard officer at Insider. “Targeted ammunition can destroy C2 [command and control] the enemy, sowing chaos and confusion. Their swarm may even stop or stop the armored column. “

A Ukrainian serviceman shoots at a Russian drone

A Ukrainian serviceman shoots at a Russian drone from a trench on the front line east of Kharkiv, March 31, 2022.

FADEL SENNA / AFP via Getty Images

In the skies over Ukraine, small munitions, or “kamikaze drones”, are among the most dangerous unmanned aerial vehicles. Reports show that Ukrainians use them effectively, allowing small units to wreak havoc on Russian troops.

But the Russians also use it. Zala KUB-BLA ammunition containing a 7-pound warhead was spotted in Ukraine. The Ukrainians managed to disable some of them, mainly with the help of anti-drone weapons, such as the Ukrainian “Bukovel-AD”, an electronic warfare device mounted on the truck, the Nota jamming grille and muffler EDM45-UA.

According to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, as of April 1, Ukrainian forces shot down 85 unmanned aerial vehicles.

“Drones are spreading [on] the battlefield, as well as the technique of combating drones, “- said the Green Berets, who asked to remain anonymous because they had no right to talk to the media.

There are two main ways to shoot down these drones.

There is a “standard” method of destroying them in the air by air-to-air or anti-aircraft fire. Drones tend to be slow, making them an easy target from the ground, even with small arms.

More advanced drones, such as the U.S. military’s MQ-9 and RQ-4, fly at very high altitudes, often more than 50,000 feet – away from small arms fire.

The second way to shoot down a drone is to interfere with its electronics, primarily through radio frequency energy.

Weapons against drones for Ukraine

Dronebuster soldiers against an unmanned aerial system

US soldiers use Dronebuster during an exercise at Erbil Air Base in Iraqi Kurdistan, April 24, 2020.

US Army / Spc. Angel Rushkevich

The rapid adoption of drones has made drone control systems “really important,” the Green Beret Insider said. “We have been using them for some time, especially in Syria and Iraq, where the ISIS had decent drone capabilities.”

The two types of weapons against drones considered in the United States are Dronebuster Flex Force and Dronekiller from IXI. according to Politico.

Dronebuster is a compact and lightweight anti-drone weapon that is specialized for use against commercial drones. It uses radio frequency energy to overcome the control frequency of the drone, causing it to stop and either hang or return to its operator. It can also overload a drone’s GPS, causing it to hover, land or crash.

Dronebuster is the only hand-held weapon against drones approved for use in the U.S. military. It can be used on a stationary site or as a portable device, giving operators some flexibility.

Dronekiller is a rifle-sized anti-drone weapon that uses radio frequency energy to interrupt command signals or guide a drone, forcing it to land or return to its operator. It has a range of about 1,100 yards and can spot a drone by radio frequency signature.

Stavros Atlamazoglu is a defense journalist specializing in special operations, a veteran of the Greek Army (national service in the 575th Marine Battalion and Army Headquarters) and a graduate of Johns Hopkins University.

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