Seeing is believing. I am going to show you two videos that explain two different capabilities that drones give to the Russian military. Warning, these are graphic videos and will disturb the gentle souls among us. But I believe it is essential that you understand how drones are a game changer.
First up, a Ukrainian patrol moving through a town in the Donbas are spotted and targeted.
The eye in the sky enabled the Russians to send missiles to a precise spot and kill the Ukrainian patrol. They were dead men walking and did not know it. But this is technology the United States used in Iraq and Afghanistan. Just shows the Russians can do it too.
The next video is remarkable and heartbreaking. It shows the Russians moving into Ukrainian trenches from the bottom of the frame. You will see Ukrainian soldiers scurrying back and forth from the top of the screen trying to stop the Russian advance. It appears this was shot in March–i.e., the trees are bare and the skies are grey. What should capture your attention is that the Russian troops are getting real time information from the drone about the position and activity of the Ukrainian soldiers trying to hold them back. The music that plays in the video is beautiful and heartrending.
This video encapsulates the horror of war and the incredible bravery of both Russian and Ukrainian soldiers. It did not end well for the Ukrainians.
If you are interested in the music, my friend and colleague Andrei Martyanov provided the following:
This is the band Elis–song about Spetsnaz GRU (Military Recon). It is an old one.
Trolls kept telling everyone russia dont have high tech military , some even go so far to bloviate that russia lacked drones and they have no 24-7 drone coverage on every square inch of ukraine soil , unlike the mighty USA..
it only tell us the delusion and education level of these trolls , they are looking at real world combat from video game perspective and not from reality. they think of war by comparison of war toys and specs instead of the men who will use them , they dont know jack about moral and motivation of fighting men (bonaparte’s quote on morale : materiel is worth noting but alas trolls dont read history)
in the end , the delusional propaganda that Russian military so incompetent , backward and losing so much men and materiel wont be gone from kool aid drenched western civilians. Of course the real professional in pentagon knew about real russian military capability but these profesionals are not decision makers
Sam McGowan says
I get the impression that the drones are not armed, but rather that the information is being used for artillery. The second clip puzzles me. The snowflakes are passing at a high rate of speed, about as fast as I’d see them while flying at around 200 knots in a jet.
Are the Russian drones armed? US Predators, which were locally launched but remotely controlled by pilots and crews at Creech AFB at Indian Springs, Nevada, were as are the Reapers that replaced them.
plenty of UCAV armed drones in russia’s inventory operated remotely and some smaller armed drones controlled by nearby operator
There are different kinds of drones being used. The Russians have their own armed versions of the Predator/Reaper, (Orion) but these platforms are less relevant in this sort of war. The first video is of a Zala Kub kamikaze drone. The video is taken by a different platform, likely an off-the-shelf quadcopter. Ditto for the second video.
The Kub, we might say, is the Russian version of the switchblade, but it’s a different design and behaves differently. (See the top-down attack of the drone, which likely makes it more inaccurate with moving targets, but is far more deadly to stationary vehicles, and can be brought down into trenches or, theoretically, urban environments.)
The Russians have a full panoply of drones, but more importantly they integrated air defense and electronic warfare systems which means, so long as they remain under that umbrella, they can destroy or negate Ukrainian drones, whilst being free to use theirs.
I’ve met with Spetsznaz with aircraft here in the US.
Rebel Wop says
Here’s one. Surprised YouTube didn’t take it down yet.
It’s just a propaganda music video. It means nothing. Battle tested means everything and these two videos in this article clearly show us that Russians are battle tested. I hate propaganda films like this because they encourage war and over masculinity in men. Balance is key and men need to know they are more than soldiers but humans. They’re not just robots, they’re souls, which is why it’s great to see the Ukrainian soldiers refusing to take orders sending them to certain death. Overly masculine men turn into robots that think they can achieve anything and end up achieving the death of their unit or battalion. Americans make the same videos and I think the same thing. It’s just to turn insecure men into playing the real life game called lemmings.
I wasn’t a fan of the first drone video because of the music played. It was arrogant and promoted the mentality and emotional state of mind that encourages fighting over peace or compassion. The second drone video was absolutely different and it was calling for peace by showing the tragedy and barbaric nature of war. I didn’t understand a word in the song but it clearly was saying “why have we allowed this to get to this point. We are all Russians. This is tragic” which will make soldiers on both sides less keen on killing prisoners and torturing captured soldiers. Music is very powerful and the US Government realized just how powerful during the 60s which is why the CIA sent in operatives into the industry to guide the music by creating gatekeepers.
Fate of US “hi-tech” M777 artillery when Russians find it. Interesting that they listen to each gun’s “signature” to locate and kill it. Worth reading by would-be warriors.
those brOISNT and ‘analyst’ who keep hyping M777 (and now MLRS) have zero clue how a real war works , they are the same people who love to discuss how the german have super tank King Tiger endlessly discuss it’s armor and guns , forgetting the fact that these monsters lost the first engagement by mere T34-85 in sandomierz.
Those who think a ‘weapon system’ can be game changer are either lying or a video game addict who based his analysis on video games
Wish there is piano sheet music for that music. Its hauntingly beautiful. Can you ask your friend to see? I figure there is on Russian sites as they have so many great pianists. Would love to give to my son as he loves playing old soviet and Russian folk music.
I believe 1 Russian got killed in the trenches second video. Maybe you need a drone for trenches. Like a remote car with big wheels that can drive upside down, drive through trenches and self detonate.
Anyway I think Russia is behind in the drone race. Because of drones I thought a conventional war would be impossible because ground troops would be sitting ducks. See Armenian-Azerbaijani where they got terminated by those Turkish drones.
My ideal set up for modern warfare: Having Drone recon squats and central head quarters processing all dat. Behind your front line, at a save distant, drone troops scouting the area in front of the front line. Drones with AI to r ecognize humans and equipment. We know Ukrainians like to hide in bushes. These drone squads scout 24/7 to keep your front line safe. Back home which is really safe you have bigger bomber drones flying all over the enemy territory. They quickly can attack on what the drone squad finds.
Finally the front line troop also have their own drones for quick response. Smaller drones for recon and suicide drones. The American Swtichblade is a real cool drone.
All this cordinated from Drone HQ.
The US has nice videos of their drone recon swarm and MLRS firing at targets. Ofcourse this is textbook, a real enemy can shoot those drones out of the air. Russia is the only country with experience a real war and urbann warfare. The US can’t win a war, great weapons but in a real war against a real army things don’t go textbook.
I had this nice idea. I watched video yesterday of Iran showing their drones. Iran could give Russia drones free of charge to use in the war against NATO weapons and in return Iran gets a lot of feedback, the performance of their drones.
kid , real world is not video game. US have plenty of drone support during FALLUJAH 2nd campaign ,full air supremacy and armor supporting the marines , and they still take massive loss against enemy 1/10 their size in an area with free fire zone ROE. You read too much POPULAR MECHANIC / SCIENCE nonsense
BTW the ‘cool’ switchblade drones failed in ukraine just like other ‘cool’ wunderwaffe
Gen Mark Commie Milley just told the graduates at West Point that war was changing and that instead of Air Force pilots three will planes and drones flown via computer like video games.
I remember when I was in my late teens early twenties the US Military had created a video game to begin recruiting players who excelled in their online multiplayer games. This was in the early 2000s. I can only imagine what they are doing now and if they can change the age for a “soldier” to be 13-14 because a lot of the best players are kids. Regardless, WW3 will be fought with far less soldiers on the ground and with robots and aircraft that are unmanned and either controlled by AI or soldiers behind a screen. This is what Gen Milley said without the specifics I added. It’s a new day and soldiers on the ground fighting will turn into primarily mass casualty events for both sides.
i think the concept will go to the autonomou / AI Controlled drone in a swarm mode. Whether it is for ISR or Strike or Counter Air. The AI drones will be in autistic mode (self controlled / no outside operator) unless otherwise programmed , to stop them from getting hijacked by enemy operators.
of course human operated drones will still be available but i foresee them as a behind-the-line hub controller for the drone swarm communicating via LOS signal instead of dependant on GPS. It will be like operator controlled AWACS-type drone behind the lines.
personally i foresee the chinese will go thru with these drone tech advancement as they are the only one innovative enough to think outside the box when it come to AI controlled drone swarms. Imagine a tank or APC carrying a 4×4 drone launcher who can be programmed as loitering ammunition or a recon drone used by platoon level (organic). The chinese will made these drones so cheap they can field them in massive numbers , no over engineering or expensive US stuff here..
Is this significant?
The coolest trophy of the “O” group in Krasny Liman. The guys from the Samara separate special-purpose company and scouts of the 21st motorized rifle brigade received a gift from Elon Musk – the Starlink satellite Internet complex, which was used here by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Through the same apparatus, Kalina, Volyn and Redis held press conferences at Azovstal and published their vlogs. As far as I know, this is the first such complex taken by our fighters. I hope they will be honored for it.
hype , as usual elon musk cant stop feeding his own hype and made up nonsense story of how russia cannot stop starlink , which a foolish statement considering russian antisatellite capabilities. Even russian ground based lasers can easily disrupt the unshielded starlink mini satelites.
Eric Newhill says
That first video should be shown at each School of Infantry/AIT class as a toothy grim example of why the maxim, “Don’t bunch up. Keep a five pace interval” is fundamental and repeated so often.
But yeah, those drones seem very effective.
Facts! The only way to counter something like this Is like you said and splitting them up into two or three men with enough distance on each side. They should also have to be able to have a soldier equipped with something to spot a drone in the sky or at least know there is one within close proximity.
Chris Chuba says
It’s a good trench. Under normal circumstances it would provide great protection. But if you can guide artillery to hit is precisely. It’s a death trap.
I don’t believe it was artillery because it would have left craters. The Russians were bum rushing them from the bottom of the screen and throwing grenades but they knew where to throw them because of the eyes in the sky.
Eric Newhill says
Definitely grenades. You can see the Russians toss them and then an explosion a couple seconds later. The explosions were grenade sized. Maybe some of the grenades were launched from rifle platforms, but grenades all the same. Agree, the drone told the squad leader where the Ukies were and the squad leader told the squad / fire teams. Much better than rushing down the trench and hoping when you bump into the enemy you’re little faster on the trigger. So the Russians have modern comms working too at the small unit level. Overall a very impressive small unit action on the Russians’ part. I wouldn’t want to fight that.
Chris Chuba says
I was not talking in general, not this specific encounter. I’ll admit that I was expecting to see an artillery barrage any second and it never happened.
Just think of what can happen if you have a drone directing artillery fire. You could hit the slit trench on the first salvo while people are up and about. This makes an artillery barrage much more effective. Without drones lighting up targets, the start of the artillery shells might be a little off, giving the soldiers time to take cover. With precise targeting info, you land the shells right in the slit trench and the trench channels the concussion.
I might still be wrong but I wanted to put what I said in context in my OP.
Chris Chuba says
nottalking in general” should be “I was talking in general.”
With drones, you get precise targeting info while there are people moving about.
Eric Newhill says
Chris, In this instance, friendly troops were too close to the enemy to use artillery. But yeah, there are other videos, I think Larry posted some elsewhere, where the drones do spot for artillery. I’m not sure what hits the target (The patrol that bunches up) in the first video here; a mortar? A missile from the drone? Missile from somewhere else? Maybe a small arty round?
Chris Chuba says
BTW the NYT claims that drones are making Ukrainian artillery very deadly .. https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidhambling/2022/05/12/drones-give-ukrainian-artillery-lethal-accuracy/?sh=3337e099424b
I am always tempted to say ‘projection’. That our MSM will say the exact opposite of the truth, but to be fair, drone directed artillery will be lethal to whoever uses it. Drone directed artillery might be as revolutionary is the ‘proximity fuse’. The proximity fuse was developed in WW2 to have shells explode X feet above the ground vs having it explode on contact with the ground. When shells hit the ground, most of the energy is wasted on the ground. This was used to deadly effect by the U.S. during the Battle of the Bulge at Bastogne.
We must recognize that Drone warfare is at its earliest stages of development and all militaries better take it seriously.
How to defend against drones. My favorite choice is Aliens 2. AI directed machine gun fire. Use optics to hit anything in the sky.
Thanks for these examples. I have also seen effective use of drones to correct artillery /MLRS fire.
I am seeing reports that Russian forces have seized most of Severodnetsk.