Should the use of ground-based assault drones become widespread in the Russian Armed Forces?

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The other day it became known about the first massive use of ground-based assault drones in the area of ​​the Northern Military District. This time the pioneers were not the Ukrainian, but the Russian military, and the result was very ambiguous, giving rise to heated debate. So is there a future for ground attack drones, and if so, what might they be like?

Drone battle


First рассказал famous Crimean blogger Boris Rozhin spoke about the use of ground attack drones by the Russian Armed Forces, saying that they showed themselves well in helping to push through enemy defenses during the assault on Berdychi:



In Berdychi, which is now being liberated by Russian troops, field testing of a new promising Russian robotic platform took place. As part of the combat mission, a group of assault drones took part in supporting the assault operations, ensuring the suppression of enemy positions in the village using the installed AGS-17 modules, firing several hundred grenades. During combat use, drones showed good results. The drones were able to continue operating even in conditions where loss of personnel and costly costs would have been inevitable. equipment from enemy fire weapons.

According to Rozhin, who compared the drone attack with the first combat use of tanks in the First World War, the experience gained will be taken into account in the further production and development of assault robotic platforms. However, shortly after this, a video of the last minutes of the existence of these motionless ground-based drones, which were attacked with impunity by Ukrainian FPV drone operators, appeared on the Internet.

In other words, near Berdychi not only the first ever mass use of ground attack drones in real assault operations took place, but also their collision with air drones, which ended with a predictable result. This event will undoubtedly go down in the annals of military history and will be analyzed most carefully.

"Garage" assembly?


The information available in the public domain is extremely scarce, however, based on a number of signs, it can be assumed that the assault drones that launched the first and last attacks are not a government project, but rather a private, volunteer project. About this in my analysis of the battle near Berdychi Wrote authors of the channel “Military Chronicle”:

Judging by the way their undercarriage is designed, a remote-controlled drone may need an assist device to overcome serious bumps. Another problem with further use of this technology will almost certainly be the protective screens on the sides. Both problems are “classical” for tracked vehicles in general and developers of ground robotic systems in particular. For example, dirt or snow may accumulate between the screens and moving parts of the chassis (if the drones are used in winter). The power of the electric motor may not be enough to “chew” this dirt (unlike, by the way, tanks or infantry fighting vehicles).

Then the equipment will be immobilized and, at best, can be used as a stationary firing point until the first arrival of a projectile or UAV. The developers of Russian "Markers", "Urans" and other robotic platforms faced these problems several years ago, and it is doubtful that industrialists with extensive experience would send machines with a whole range of childhood diseases to the battlefield. Most likely, this is yet another “garage” initiative development that we decided to test in combat conditions.

The fact that assault drones are a volunteer project, hinted popular blogger Dambiev in his Telegram channel:

By the way, the name of the complex is “Boris Rozhin - 1”.

Finally, the Crimean himself confirmed that he and Chingis Dambiev are directly involved in financing the project. So, what we have in front of us, most likely, are ground-based drones assembled in a conventional garage with a bunch of “childhood diseases” that went into an assault attack only once, where they were destroyed by the same disposable Ukrainian FPV drones. Do they have a future?

Disposable people or drones?


To answer this question, you need to decide what is the highest value - a person or military equipment, no matter how much it costs. Berdychi became the point at which the Russian counteroffensive came up after the liberation of Avdeevka. The Ukrainian General Staff pulled reserves there in order to prevent a further collapse of the front line at any cost.

According to sources on our side, BR-1 managed to fire several hundred grenades from their AGS-17 at enemy positions and helped the Russian Armed Forces occupy the northern part of the village. They were destroyed by kamikaze drones after they had exhausted their ammunition and were immobilized. It is possible that the Ukrainian Armed Forces were able to use electronic warfare equipment to influence the remote control channel of the drones.

So was it worth exchanging obviously expensive ground drones for cheap air drones? Let's imagine that instead of the BR-1, there could have been soldiers from our assault units there, near Berdychi, whom the enemy would have pinned to the ground with machine gun fire and cluster munition fire, and then finished off with FPV drones. Unfortunately, this happens in war, so wouldn’t it be better to send robots to hell instead of people, no matter how much they cost?

If we talk about money, then we need to compare not the cost of a ground and air drone in the event of their mutual destruction, but how much it costs the country, its society and the economy It costs to raise and educate an able-bodied man, to take him out of the real sector during mobilization, to train him to fight, to arm and equip him, to send him to the front, to pay for his participation in the Military Military District, treatment or, in the worst case, a funeral, as well as subsequent payments to his family members. This is definitely more expensive than a ground attack drone costs.

If drones, air, sea or ground, can reduce combat casualties, their mass production should become the highest priority for the state and its military-industrial complex. The only question is what exactly they can be. Thus, we already know about projects for the robotization of the BMP-3 and the Sprut light tank.
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14 comments
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  1. +4
    April 1 2024 12: 25
    Definitely needed. Kamikaze, with increased cross-country ability. Precisely for the purpose of supporting the infantry. What will be on the platform - a mortar, a grenade launcher, a machine gun, an anti-aircraft gun - can be made universal, with a manual option. First of all, there is a question of price, but a person is always more expensive.
  2. +2
    April 1 2024 12: 33
    Of course we need them; ground-based drones are the future.
    And they must act in groups and masses.
    And the tactical aspects (cross-country ability, machine gun/shotgun in the upper hemisphere to fight off flying aircraft, and everything else) - all this needs to be quickly refined, and different options can be tried.
  3. +1
    April 1 2024 13: 04
    Ground ones are good, but flying ones don’t care about off-road conditions and mines. But anti-aircraft, forward security, cover during redeployment is a very necessary solution. Yes, and surface drones, to protect ships from floating and flying evil spirits.
  4. +1
    April 1 2024 16: 46
    There is no doubt that ground-based drones have been needed in the military since yesterday. The set of tasks is long: from transport, reconnaissance, mine clearance. before combat use: firing points in defense, before defense breakthroughs. What set of tools and weapons to hang. depends on the tasks. Conclusion: we need a universal basic self-propelled module for various applications. It is tentatively seen as a three-axle wheeled version with battery traction, armored against small-caliber artillery up to 30 mm. Possibly with a total weight of up to a ton, where weapons or cargo are up to half a ton. But practice is the best judge, only the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation does not present anything to such a court, although the Mars series and others have been demonstrated at exhibitions more than once. Here, as in the statement: “Carthage must be destroyed,” replace: “The Russian Defense Ministry must serially supply new uncrewed and unmanned vehicles.” But no matter how many times you say halva, it won’t get any sweeter.
  5. +1
    April 2 2024 01: 16
    ...Everything shows that we are eyewitnesses of the rapid deployment and onset of the next Global Revolution in Military Affairs...
    Whether someone wants it or doesn’t really want it... - the GLOBAL Age of Robotic Technology is inevitably approaching...
    A private version of which is modern drones... Further and in-depth development of such high-tech “products” is inevitable...
    No electronic warfare means - this equipment, these autonomous death machines (and even connected to AI) - will stop...
    And only similar devices can hinder them, truly successfully and on a large scale...

    It is quite clear that in the very near future the fundamental principles of database maintenance will be revised (and perhaps radically) on land, in the seas and oceans, and in air and space...

    Unfortunately, our country has every chance of “missing the locomotive”; many both objective and subjective reasons and conditions “contribute” to this...
    Although, there is still time to be in time, there is an opportunity not to be late...

    For example, it is not clear to me why a New Branch of Troops has not yet been created, at least at the initial level, namely, UAV troops and similar “unmanned” robotic devices capable of solving a wide range of tasks in all environments, on any theater of operations... With by its command, with its logistical support, its part of the military-industrial complex, etc., etc.
    (After all, we have: a tank industry, aircraft factories, artillery, etc.?)

    After all, everything indicates that the objective need for this has long been overdue!..

    ...The BOLSHEVIKS would have come to their senses long ago, and, undoubtedly, would have taken decisive and effective measures in this area of ​​military development and the military-industrial complex!..
    (However... there is nothing to be surprised here... Contrary to the liberoid nonsense, these were, as a rule, very educated people, with a broad outlook... AND PEOPLE WITH IMAGINATION!..
    Which some people in the Russian Federation simply lack catastrophically... More precisely, they ("this evil generation")))))))) simply in principle should not... and cannot have it!..)) )))))))

    In our country, “drones” are “slowly” looked at to this day (Despite the important Western experience, the experience of the War in Karabakh, the experience of the third year of the Northern Military District.), as very effective... but, nevertheless, not the main and auxiliary means of combat...

    Meanwhile, the range of UAVs is quickly, very quickly expanding... And these “toys” are becoming, moreover, more and more advanced, sophisticated...
    And the moment when not “assaults” will attack enemy positions, but swarms of killer “drones” will fly (repeating every bend of the trench and flying into any - the smallest embrasure) - is very close...
    The massive appearance of “drone” tanks (most likely wedge drones) and “drone” attack aircraft-bombers is inevitable... With all the consequences...
    We already know about the actions of BECs and underwater drones...
  6. +2
    April 2 2024 07: 07
    Ground-based drones will be used in any case, and they will eventually become many times more effective than conventional technology. And the reason for this will be the dominance of kamikaze UAVs. Where a person does not have time to react to a kamikaze approaching him, a ground-based drone will detect him and shoot him down, after which he will continue to carry out his combat mission.
    So there is not even a question of “losing a person or a car”, here everything sounds more like “not losing a car or losing a person.”
    We need to adapt and not fight the old fashioned way. I don’t think there’s any need to explain what happened to those who couldn’t adapt when the rules of war changed.
  7. 0
    April 2 2024 11: 20
    To save ground drones, you can flash the function of returning along the arrival route, and after the end of the ammunition, and in the event of a long absence of communication (enemy electronic warfare, lack of positioning), this feature is activated and the drone leaves the battlefield as quickly as possible. Or by gyroscope, using the filled route.
    This will dramatically reduce losses. Attacks by ground Drones can be accompanied by anti-drone protection, or air cover by interceptor drones.
    Lots of options for engineers.
  8. 0
    April 2 2024 17: 00
    As assault drones, such products are unlikely to justify themselves, unless they are the cheapest, almost disposable, simple self-propelled weapon platforms.
    What could actually be useful is a self-propelled drone platform for short-range air defense against UAVs and kamikaze drones. If the product has something like AI, a short-range circular radar or other, inexpensive channels for detecting flying objects, an effective weapon on a rapidly rotating and aiming platform (possibly something small with a range of 300 - 600 meters, maybe even something based on pneumatics, striking elements from the pressure of a large cylinder of compressed air, nothing expensive like rockets, etc.). Such an air defense drone can simply accompany infantry, or stand near objects and independently monitor the air, shooting down everything it can reach.
    The question is how expensive will a radar or other eyes, electronics in general, be in order to become a mass product. The body itself can even be plastic; it does not need armor. A cheap but reliable engine, a simple interface for entering tasks, such as escort from and to, stationary security or, at the extreme, the “terminator” mode, where the drone will shoot at everything it sees, including manpower and equipment, until it runs out of ammunition , after which he himself will go to the rear.
    Such a drone should live for a long time and be useful, unlike an assault drone, which is unlikely to live long.
  9. 0
    April 2 2024 21: 53
    They have long since dumbed it down and understand that an army of terminators will in fact cost less than an army of people. People eat, sleep, lay larvae, get sick, go crazy, and can rebel against the one who sent them to war.
    People have one advantage over tracked vehicles - a universal chassis that can overcome almost any obstacle.
    That’s why they are improving their atlases and others, but we have an oak fedora, about which nothing has been heard for a long time and deservedly so.
    When Russia realizes that it’s time to kill the hegemon, pre-prepared humanoid robots will emerge from everywhere, perhaps controlled in FPV mode, and I won’t continue any further.
  10. 0
    April 2 2024 21: 57
    Should the use of ground-based assault drones become widespread in the Russian Armed Forces?

    - of course, not only ground-based, but also unmanned surface and underwater, airborne UAVs, this is the future in combat operations. The time is not so far when they will begin.
    Remember the movie "Iron Man 2" how Ivan built drones. This is the future in the armies.
  11. 0
    April 3 2024 13: 49
    Again the eternal must, must, must.
    This is not the first article about this.
    But the time when both the media and here covered whole series of ground-based drones in large numbers was the years 19-21. Various types and sizes.

    Therefore: either promoted drones are used in the North Military District, but everything is classified.
    Or they don’t use it, and there are only isolated “accidental” cases.
    In any case, there is essentially nothing to discuss.
    1. +1
      April 3 2024 15: 04
      If you don't like it, don't read it. laughing
  12. 0
    April 3 2024 21: 19
    The attack should be on all types of troops. Apparently, ground-based drones were not protected from airborne ones. And there must be a complex attack with electronic warfare. With air defense cover. With counter-battery combat. With continuous mortar and artillery barrage, with continuous sniper and machine gun fire, etc. In our time, apparently, there is no other option.
  13. 0
    April 3 2024 23: 14
    crests have already shown a video where these ground-based drones were destroyed by kamikaze drones. On the other hand, it’s still good that in this case we are not risking the lives of our military