It is reported that in the middle of last month, the Russian army used a large number of drones in the continuous aerial strikes in Ukraine.
There are many types of drones used by Russia on the battlefield, but “suicide” drones are mostly being used to attack Ukrainian energy facilities.
After flying at low altitude and high speed, it can locate buildings through its own simple guidance equipment, which is very efficient.
Subsequently, Ukraine said that these UAVs specifically the “Shahed-136” series are supplied by Iran, russia has only changed the painting text on the UAV, which also triggered a war of words between Russia, Ukraine and Iran.
Now Ukraine has received many ground air defense systems assisted by NATO, some of which can be used to target low-altitude helicopters, and can also be used to identify and strike drones; but the cheapest AIM-120 missiles launched by the surface-to-air missile system such which Ukraine has received such as the NASAMS have each missile worth $1 million+, it’s very uneconomical to deal with cheap drones.
So, ukrainian soldiers can be seen using old-fashioned anti-aircraft machine guns or even rifles from the Soviet era to shoot drones, so the probability of hitting is lower.
According to Ukrainian officials, they believe that Russia has received about 2,000 such “Iran-exported” drones, of which less than a third are now in use.
On the 2nd, the US “Defense News” Weekly reported a new piece of news: the United States intends to provide Ukraine with an advanced anti-drone system, which will be delivered to Ukraine by next year at the latest.
The system is a “Vampire” modular tray-type ISR rocket equipment (hereinafter referred to as “Vampire” system) developed by L3Harris, which is designed to combat low-altitude small UAVs and other aircraft, and the cost of ammunition is very low.
The “Vampire” system is mainly composed of a quadruple launcher, photoelectric guidance device and guided munitions. It integrates the current advanced laser technology of the US military for precise killing.
The data shows that the system is still in the development stage, because the US military’s research on lasers has not been put into actual combat on a large scale, and the “vampire” system in the Ukrainian battlefield may verify the actual effect.
The whole system adopts a modular design, and most of the cost is invested in the identification and guidance system of the device itself.
The price of the interceptor used is very low, only less than 30,000 US dollars; in addition, there is also a guidance module on the interceptor, which can be used for unmanned aerial vehicles.
The machine performs “dual guidance and positioning”, and its efficiency is very good.
This kind of weapon can be mounted on armored vehicles, tanks or even ordinary household pickup trucks through installation, and it is very maneuverable.
Also as a weapon specially aimed at low-altitude UAVs, the “Vampire” system has several notable shortcomings; one is that the warhead has high accuracy but the charge is not large, and there is no “one-shot” against large UAVs.
The second is that the ground system needs to be continuously guided and locked during the launch, but the equipment itself has almost no means of protection, and it is easy to be “destroyed” by the drone that is inspected and hit together; third, the weapon’s use determines that it cannot fight against large-scale drone attacks similar to “swarms”, and its efficiency is limited in the face of multiple targets.
But generally speaking, this cheap equipment against Russia is effective enough, and some people worry that the anti-drone system will not be delivered to Ukraine until next year, and whether it will be in time is another big question.