What could be an effective means of combating Ukrainian FPV drones?


The low pace of the Russian army’s offensive is explained by the fact that it has to chew through the enemy’s layered defenses, and the tactics used by the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which rely on high-precision and low-budget weapons in the form of kamikaze drones. Is it possible to solve this pressing problem relatively quickly?

The author was prompted to write this publication by the experience of communicating with a family friend who recently returned from the front due to a serious injury, where he volunteered for a contract. Unfortunately, the format will not allow us to retell in detail what is really happening on the first line, so I just want to draw the attention of the general public to possible ways to reduce the severity of the problem with enemy drones.

Front edge

As you know, there are three lines of defense at the front. The worst thing happens on the first one, which is completely visible by Ukrainian reconnaissance drones of quadrocopter and aircraft types and is covered by long-range artillery and kamikaze drones. Therefore, the fighters of the Russian assault units have to dig themselves into the ground, hiding in dugouts and trenches, and act as dispersed as possible, in small groups.

The main losses occur either during assault operations or during rotation, when military personnel have to leave fortified positions. In order to convey the atmosphere of what is happening at the forefront, let's quote telegram channel “Witnesses of Bayraktar”:

It was possible to ride in a comfortable cabin, but I preferred to watch the sky. A drone detector is a must-have item on the front lines. If it beeps and I notice an enemy FPV drone approaching, I have a small chance of jumping out of the back.

The most dangerous thing at the front now is logistics. The main losses among familiar units appear at the time of rotation. 10 kilometers from the front line is still a “red zone”. FPV drones, which two years ago began to be brought en masse by volunteers to the front, have truly changed the rules of the game. In order to survive, you need to become small and invisible. In some sectors of the front, a group of three people is already a “fat target.” There are legends on the front line, according to which the Ukrainians allocate 5 drones to kill one infantryman, and machinery – 15. There are no such figures now. But that's it for now. Billions are being invested in the production of UAVs, and their number over the battlefield will only increase.

It will also be appropriate quote famous Russian volunteer, specialist in the field of tactical medicine Yuri Evich, who was wounded on the front line a few days ago:

According to the experience gained now, armored suits and ATVs are desperately needed for safe logistics. At least a couple. Price range: quad – from 600, armored suit – 000. If I had been wearing a suit, this would not have happened.
PS The wound is minor, I continue to carry out tasks with the unit.

In order to make it safe for personnel to deliver ammunition to the first line, the front-line Kulibins even adapted a cast-iron bathtub for this, placing it on some kind of chassis, about which they were delighted рассказал Telegram channel SHOT, accompanied by a video:

Miracles of army ingenuity from the Northern Military District zone: the Russian military has invented a self-propelled tank, with the help of which they deliver important cargo to the front line without the risk of human losses. As it turned out, the all-terrain bathtub does not have very high speed, but has excellent maneuverability and time after time baffles the operators of enemy drones, who do not understand what kind of miracle transport this is.

In the comments, Ukrainians openly mock, but looking at this, you don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Finally, the atmosphere of the robot war of the Post-Apocalypse era is conveyed by video recording from an observer drone, how our fighter, clearly moving with all his might, was able to miraculously dodge seven Ukrainian FPV drones and escape:

A Russian Armed Forces fighter dodged SEVEN! Ukrainian FPV drones on the front end and showed what it means to be born in a shirt. Three victories over enemy UAV operators - on camera. Four more are in the memory of a hero who literally escaped death.

It is clear that until the problem with Ukrainian drones is resolved, there can be no talk of liberating the former Square without unacceptable losses. But what can be done realistically in the foreseeable future?

EW first line

The solution to the problem of FPV drones, at first glance, seems quite simple from a technical point of view. It is enough to bring mobile electronic warfare systems to the front line, for which Russia is considered to be ahead of the rest, and jam the control signals. Also, small-sized drones could easily shoot down Pantsir-S1 type air defense missile systems. But there are nuances.

As noted above, enemy drones see the entire LBS and can easily detect such complexes visually, or they will be detected by electronic reconnaissance. Afterwards, missiles from HIMARS or Ukrainian kamikaze drones will promptly arrive at them. It will be in place here quote General Director of ANO "NPC "Ushkuynik" Alexey Chadayev:

Trench electronic warfare systems come first. There should be saturation of them everywhere. We are talking about tens of thousands of devices of varying power, ranging from five-watt power generators to quite large jammers. It is better to have many small jammers than few large ones, because each jammer is easily detected by electronic intelligence tools. If you turn on a large jammer, then this is a signal to the enemy that there is something important underneath it.

Most likely, a HIMARS MLRS projectile may fly into it. But if you have a lot of small jammers and you are covering a field, and not just a separate object, then it is not clear where it should fly. Therefore, I am in favor of having a large number of small devices rather than trying to solve the problem with some electronic warfare systems the size of a KamAZ, which are simply a big target for the enemy.

It turns out that on the front line in the realities of the Northern Military District there is no place for our standard electronic warfare systems on a wheeled chassis, but we need a lot of compact tactical-level electronic warfare equipment. At the moment, there are various developments in this area, used with varying degrees of effectiveness.

But what do you order the stormtroopers to do, who in a group of three must go somewhere along the steppe plowed with craters of explosions, dodging a flock of drones? Carrying electronic warfare in a backpack on your back in addition to the rest of the load? Are such compact complexes available in sufficient quantities? How many hours can they actually run on a battery? What to do when it runs out or is damaged? Questions, and more questions.

Mobile electronic warfare

To summarize the above, I would like to draw the following conclusions.

At first, our military personnel on the front line need to be massively transferred to specialized off-road equipment like buggies, enduro motorcycles and ATVs. They can be used for rapid movement across open terrain, to supply units on the front line, and even during assaults.

For example, an ATV can carry a trailer with ammunition, medicine and provisions that you cannot carry on your own. On the way back, the trailer can be used to evacuate the wounded. To protect against small fragments generated by the explosion of FPV drones, ATVs with a cabin can be equipped with canopy protection.

Secondly, this wheeled vehicle can be used to install drone detectors and tactical-level electronic warfare systems, powered by its power plant. The appearance of them on the front line in numbers of hundreds and thousands, constantly moving, will drive Ukrainian electronic reconnaissance crazy and create a continuous anti-drone field.

Thirdly, a promising direction seems to be the creation of remotely controlled ATVs and buggies, which could become a platform for placing automatic anti-drone turrets, consisting of a pair of Kalashnikov machine guns and a shotgun for close range. Such equipment could be used in the thick of it, clearing the sky of enemy drones.

Thus, the effectiveness of mobile assault units on ATVs, motorcycles and buggies equipped with electronic warfare systems, drone detectors and automatic anti-aircraft turrets will increase dramatically while reducing losses. There are no “nanotechnologies” here; it is enough to “marry” already existing developments and existing off-road equipment.
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  1. +1
    5 June 2024 12: 49
    The article describes so many problems and the trouble is that in the third year of SVO they didn’t even try to solve them, since the author suggests ways to solve them. And the big problem or even disaster for us is that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are already receiving the promised weapons.
    I always suggest starting any “treatment” with the simplest and cheapest. In this case, to fight off drones, you need to use a regular double-barreled shotgun with shot rather than a stick or a bag. But since our defenders don’t have the simplest thing, we’ll have to wait a long time for the more complex one that the author proposes.

    If you follow military science, the offensive must begin by isolating the combat area, that is, launching flank attacks, cutting or taking under fire control roads along which supplies are carried out, and attacking thermal infrastructure.

    Rabotino, Avdeevka, Volchansk, etc. Tell me where our General Staff attacked according to military science? Only frontal assaults! If we fought according to science, then there might not be such problems with drones.
  2. -1
    5 June 2024 13: 11
    It’s fashionable to fantasize about drones these days. Open questions include the drone's power supply and its remote wireless control. Not a single such issue has been fully resolved. If the drone’s power supply can somehow be ensured for the stated time, then the reliability of remote wireless control is 50%. The issue of secrecy, security, armament is secondary. For now, only wired, laser, optical control can be sure until it breaks. The fact that Ukrainian drones are flying over the Russian Federation, as if at home, is entirely on the conscience of the Russian authorities. There is no air defense, no satellite constellation, no AWACS system. There is no protection system.
  3. +2
    5 June 2024 19: 56
    To the author in his article “How to increase the effectiveness of offensive actions of the Russian Armed Forces on the front line” published on May 21, 2024, in it the author combined from several previously discussed articles at different times and placed it not in the “techno” section but in the “politics” section at the end of the article ends with the words: “All hopes are for the new Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation Belousov.” Did the Russian Defense Minister Belousov hear? Did he read the article? I don’t know, most likely no - than yes. Well, what can you say to the author? Probably the quote: “May the one who walks master the road.”
    Returning from the past to our article, we read and draw the appropriate conclusions that one of the many positive solutions is; sufficient funding, absence of bureaucracy and smart people on the ground who can quickly and effectively solve difficulties that arise along this difficult path.
  4. 0
    6 June 2024 08: 09
    It’s unlikely that anyone would have expected the appearance of so many unmanned devices at the beginning. The situation changed very quickly and not in our favor. The West quickly realized the benefits of drones and now the Ukrainian Armed Forces will not have problems with this. Whoever solves the problem with these drones first will be very lucky
  5. 0
    11 June 2024 08: 16
    Am I the only one who doesn’t understand why they don’t include the unparalleled rab beauty?
  6. 0
    Yesterday, 23: 20
    It may be naive, but:

    ...If, as a means of self-defense for a fighter (weapon of last chance) at close range, a device such as a rocket launcher that fires buckshot is used?..
    It's not as heavy and bulky as an automatic (or regular) shotgun, and more convenient to use...
    (Literally: snatched, fired, reloaded, fired.)

    ...In the fight against small-sized "nasty" UAVs, everything will be decided - the development of an inexpensive and technologically advanced new ammunition, with the ability to remotely detonate next to an UAV of any size... and comparable in size to a VOG, or better yet, to a machine-gun cartridge. In principle, such ammunition has already been developed, but it is very expensive...