From just using UAVs for reconnaissance and surveillance tasks to a variety of attack UAVs, Kamikaze UAVs have been used in combat, and surprisingly, they are very effective.
Recently, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense, the Russian military’s suicide drone and missile raids have resumed and new tactics have been applied on the battlefield, causing serious damages to Ukraine.
Regarding the types of suicide UAVs that the Russian military used this time, the Ukrainian side said that they mainly used Iranian-made Shahed-136 UAVs, which Russia called Geran-2; However, Iran firmly denies this.
On the battlefield, the Geran-2 UAVs used by the Russian military are not actually high-tech UAVs. Due to the single-use feature, their construction is much simpler than that of American UAVs.
All of this means that in the future battlefield, suicide UAVs like the Geran-2 , can be deployed in large numbers, plus they have great flexibility and they are able to fly quickly towards the target in the air; This will bring a lot of psychological impact to the Ukrainian army and people.
According to the statistics of the official Ukrainian media, the Ukrainian military has continuously shot down hundreds of such drones over a period of time, but the debris fired from the explosion in the air will also be destroyed causing serious casualties on the ground.
In response to this strategic deployment of the Russian military, Ukraine has also developed unmanned aerial vehicles with Western support and help.
There is information that Ukraine’s suicide UAV, which can carry a 75 kg warhead and has a range of up to 1,000 km; Thus, this type of suicide UAV of Ukraine can fly long distances from Kharkov beyond Moscow, Russia. This information made Russia fear.
Thus the drone “revolution” between the two sides will certainly play an important role in the next conflict situation; This also indicates that, in future wars, UAVs could become the key to changing the direction of the war.
So for future wars, is the UAV the key to success or failure? Let’s evaluate in three aspects:
First of all, the UAV when participating in the battlefield can coordinate with artillery to play the role of reconnaissance and target identification, helping the artillery commander to observe and correct the firing direction.
A few days ago, on the Donbass battlefield, Russia used the Geran-2 suicide UAV, equipped with a 50 kg warhead, combined with long-range artillery, to destroy 4 heavy cannons and 2 armored vehicles consecutively carrying BTR troops of the Ukrainian side; then mobilize infantry to dominate the battlefield.
This tactic not only effectively drained Ukraine’s life force, but also reduced casualties for Russia’s own troops.
Second, suicide UAVs can carry out precision-guided attacks, are cheaper than missiles, and can be used on a large scale.
The additional cost of combat loss of UAV is low and it can implement as a concentrated attack strategy in a “swarm” style in large numbers.
On the Ukrainian battlefield, the Ukrainian army encountered a swarm of suicide drones like the “swarm of wasps” of the Russian army and it is often difficult to prevent, even though most of them are wiped out by air defense, there are still some left that are enough to cause heavy damage.
Currently, the Geran-2 UAV is widely used by Russia on the Ukrainian battlefield; This is a suicide UAV with small size and low cost, disposable, the cost of the smallest model can be only 1/10 of the traditional type.
The Geran-2 UAV is newly introduced, but is preferred by the Russian Army because the Geran-2 can carry explosives weighing from 35 to 60 kg, has low visibility on radar due to its low altitude flight.
In addition, it can fly at extremely low altitudes (40 meters), enough to avoid detection by radar systems and finally it can easily achieve precise attacks on the battlefield.
After more than half a year of conflict, the leadership of the Russian Army has fully realized the important role of UAVs in combat and it has really become an indispensable vehicle in the conflict.
Compared to the past, the number of UAVs of both Russia and Ukraine in the war has increased exponentially.
Taking Russia for example, in the early days of the conflict, the Russian military remained focused on heavy artillery attacks; but now, they gradually tend to use tactical UAVs such as Orlan-10 and Lancet UAVs in combat.
These UAVs have played the role of communication, jamming, reconnaissance and combat on the battlefield and that is also the trend of the future battlefield; Although UAV combat cannot achieve decisive victory thousands of kilometers away, it is certainly indispensable.
In short, the increased use of large-scale UAVs by the Russian military for attack, has played a certain role in changing the course of the war; at the same time marked a change in their military thinking, when in the early stages of the war, they used to say “no” to armed UAVs.
What attracts more attention from the outside world is the use of UAVs in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine; is the shadow of other conflicts in the future.
From the perspective of the development rules of military conflicts in the world, the use of UAVs in combat may be a better choice and this choice can promote a new military revolution.
Currently, combat UAVs are still in a stage of continuous development, but their potential is extremely powerful and this is demonstrated in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.