Drone Dogfights: Footage From Ukraine Glimpses Future Of Warfare

- July 13, 2024
0 views 4 min

If you want to combat , there are a lot of things you shouldn't do and trust that it'll keep the bad guys off balance.

For example, gun control.

by Tom Knighton, Bearing

Terrorist networks can get around any anti-gun restriction you care to throw at people. They can move personnel and munitions across the globe with relative ease, so they'll bypass all the restrictions you want.

Look at attacks such as we've seen in Paris or Mumbai, for example. Neither of those were.

In their relatively short time in service, armies have used unmanned aerial vehicles () with varying degrees of success for intelligence, surveillance, covert strikes and other essential battlefield purposes.

But a new phenomenon has developed with increasing frequency in the skies above : drone dogfights.

Drones on both sides ram each other as their operators engage in a novel form of dueling to help keep the skies clear — and their comrades on the ground safe.

Observers expect the practice and tactics to evolve rapidly, like the first aerial dogfights in World War I, where pilots exchanged gunfire with their service revolvers.

Task & Purpose has more, including a video posted by the Armed Forces of Ukraine:

The video, set to electronic music, offers a glimpse into the low-tech approach soldiers are taking to dealing with high-tech tools.

The footage of the specific incident is short but shows what is starting to happen more and more in Ukraine. With both and Ukraine making heavy use of uncrewed aerial vehicles, UAV dogfights are starting to pop up as the two warring parties try to keep the skies clear. It's a risky strategy, given that both drones will likely be taken out, and a pretty rudimentary solution for dealing with 21st century technology. But if it's dumb and it works, it's not dumb.

Given the damage drones can do, counter-drone defenses have become a priority as the war has dragged on. Beyond electronic countermeasures, both sides have tried to shoot down enemy UAVs. Given that many are quite small, that can be a challenge, as can trying to ram a similarly small quadcopter into another. However it's clear that is being tried, and somehow working.

Often drones end up targeting groups on the ground, not each other. Ukraine recently used its drone arsenal to strike Russian assets in the east and in Crimea. Both sides in the war are using uncrewed surface vessels and aerial vehicles for a variety of purposes — for reconnaissance, as targeting systems for older artillery systems and to launch attacks on ground forces. Every so often the drones themselves are the weapons, smashing into the targets.

A recent study from a British think tank estimated that Ukraine is losing 10,000 commercial and military-grade drones per month. Estimates for total Russian UAV losses vary. A staff report from the Ukrainian military claimed Russia lost 31 UAVs on Friday.

READ NEXT: To Cleanse The Palate: Arkansas Police Literally Demolish Deported Felon

2 Comments
    Stephen Russell

    Next armed drones, armored to counter threats
    Strafe ground forces, barrage enemy positions
    Lay mines

    Don Spilman

    The war of the future and the future is here! I read a sci-fi book 60+ years ago that described these very scenarios!

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