Ukraine posts video of rare drone-on-drone warfare where it slams its own unmanned aircraft into a Russian one
Video posted by Ukraine's security agency showed an odd facet of drone warfare.
Drones are everywhere in Ukraine, but mainly focus on ground targets.
This clip showed a Ukrainian drone smashing into an enemy drone in flight.
Ukraine's security services posted a video clip showing a rare drone-on-drone encounter in its conflict with Russia.
Drone warfare has been a mainstay of the war. Both sides have used drones for reconnaissance, enhanced targeting, and directly as weapons of war.
However, drones rarely fight each other — mostly being concerned with higher-value targets on the ground, like enemy soldiers, troops, or supply caches.
A video posted Wednesday by Ukraine's internal security service, the SBU, deviated from that norm.
In the clip below, from about 10 seconds in, a Ukrainian drone can be seen smashing right into another one, which the video describes as belonging to the enemy.
The rest of the video shows more conventional drone operations, aimed at what appear to be Russian military supply trucks. It didn't give dates or locations for any of the attacks.
The SBU said the drones used were single-use models — also known as "suicide" drones, which explode on impact.
Most of the targets seem unaware the drone is about to strike. At around 30 seconds, two soldiers with a stationary vehicle do seem to notice, and dive for cover before the stream cuts out.
James Patton Rogers, a University of Southern Denmark war-studies professor and drone expert, called Russia's invasion "one of the world's first drone vs. drone conflicts" — a description which appears to have been literally borne out in the video.
Drones — more formally known as unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs — have had unprecedented uptake on the battlefield since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
It means that the technology is being exploited in almost unheard-of ways — even, in some apparent instances, of surrender being mediated via drone.
A report released last week by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) said that Ukraine is losing drones at a rate of 10,000 a month, showing electronic warfare to be among the strongest capabilities of the Russian army.
Patton Rogers said the rate of losses reflects the sheer scale at which the technology is in use, and added that Ukraine is developing "its own resilient drone systems to fill this gap in capacity."
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