Bradley perform better in Avdiivka direction than in Zaporizhzhia. Column by Serhiy Zgurets
The discussions with the Ukrainian military will revolve around the situation near Avdiivka and the technological aspects, particularly electronic warfare systems and unmanned aerial vehicles, with a manufacturer in this field
Russia has strengthened Ukrainian air defense with its attacks
In response to Russia's extensive assaults on Ukraine from December 29 to January 2, the British Ministry of Defense has expedited efforts to enhance Ukraine's air defense capabilities. To facilitate this, Ukraine is set to receive 200 missiles from the UK. These missiles, identified by the AIM-132 ASRAAM index, are technically air-to-air missiles designed for fighter jets. However, owing to their high energy, they can also serve as anti-aircraft missiles. These missiles boast a range of 25 km when deployed from an aircraft and half that when launched from a ground-based system.
The British have just made such a launcher based on the Supacat HMT truck, and a number of such anti-aircraft missile systems are already on combat duty in the Ukrainian army and are used to combat enemy air targets.
The first demonstration of the system was in October of last year, when it was launched against Russian targets. These missiles have a heat-seeking warhead and are effectively used to combat the Shahed and Russian cruise missiles. In any case, the assistance of 200 missiles for these new air defense systems is a much-needed step to strengthen our air defense.
Increased shelling near Avdiivka
On the front line, the dynamics are shaped by the interplay of weapons, the courage of our soldiers, and their skill, with Avdiivka remaining the focal point of intensity. Yesterday witnessed a total of 32 combat clashes around Avdiivka, constituting the majority of the engagements across the entire frontline. Attacks persisted into today.
Dmytro Lazutkin, head of public relations of the 47th Brigade, said that his unit is located near Stepove.
"During the New Year holidays, the intensity of small arms fighting decreased. Now the number of enemy attacks is increasing, but enemy shelling did not stop, as they actively used missiles, anti-aircraft guns and artillery. In fact, with the support of mortars and artillery, small infantry groups tried to gain a foothold in the village of Stepove, where short-range fighting takes place almost daily. Every morning they try to enter and gain a foothold where they can; there are basements where they can take up positions in one way or another - they try to do this, and our military knock them out despite the fact that the weather conditions are not very favorable. Even though there has been a slight thaw, it is still mud and swamp. We understand that sitting in the trenches is not that pleasant, especially under fire, but nevertheless, the soldiers of the 47th separate mechanized brigade are fulfilling their tasks, tracking the enemy, attacking and counterattacking," said the head of the public relations service.
According to him, Russia tried to attack in the direction of Berdychi village and Avdiivka coke plant, which remain under the control of the Ukrainian army. In fact, the eastern part of Stepove is now in a gray zone, Russian forces are trying to approach, and the Ukrainian army is eliminatingthem. The infantry is tired and exhausted and has been holding the defense and the line of contact for a long time.
Regarding reports that Russia has amassed its forces near Novoselivka Druha, he said: "Indeed, a lot of tanks have been accumulated in this area, where they will use them and how they will use them is still difficult to predict. Again, we need to have the whole range of information along the entire front line. I believe that our intelligence is working and our leaders in this area understand what needs to be done and how. Now there is a certain intensification of hostilities, and let me remind you once again that their artillery did not stop shelling either on New Year's Eve or after, and they were doing it quite densely. Therefore, we cannot say that they are somehow exhausted, perhaps it is some time of stay, but again, our leadership will probably draw conclusions and build the defense in such a way that it continues to be as effective as possible and the enemy continues to suffer huge losses."
Asked whether Russian forces had managed to cross the railroad, he replied: "They cross the railroad quite regularly, they suffer huge losses there. I think that most people have seen, those who were interested at least, there are a lot of videos and photos on the Internet where the field is just covered with corpses, including from the railroad, but in fact starting from Krasnohorivka. Our attack drones are working very efficiently, skillfully, filigree in some places (I would even say) and our artillery is also working very well on the infantry. And when Bradley is involved, the occupiers really experience something like a feeling of all-consuming horror, because Bradley works well on BMP-3, tanks, and infantry, so it has a result and effect."
The soldier emphasized that the Bradley infantry fighting vehicle performed better in the Donetsk region than in the Zaporizhzhia region, as there is more space and opportunities there.
"The amount of equipment we have, and if there is more of it, it can already lead to a certain effect in our favor. That is, if there were, for example, 10 times more Bradleys, or more shells... Here we can talk about increasing both the amount of what we already have and the amount of ammunition if there is more. Again, I think each of the commanders will be happy about this. If we talk about some technical means that are modern and very effective on the battlefield today, we are talking about FPV drones, reconnaissance UAVs, high-quality electronic warfare equipment," explained Lazutkin.
He mentioned that positive changes in the technical equipment of the troops are occurring in the Avdiivka direction, thanks to the support of volunteers, the government, and initiatives from the mayors of Dnipro, Lviv, and Kyiv. Over 100 FPV drones were contributed through these efforts.
"Believe me, the enemy feels it, and again I would like to note the skill of our Bradleys and the operators of the crews working with the drones, which also effectively destroys the enemy forces and equipment that appear to cover these assaults," the military explains.
Production of equipment and confrontation in the field of technology
The Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal said that last year the volume of weapons production in the country tripled, and the goal for this year is to achieve a sixfold increase. These are significant and challenging goals. At the same time, we understand that our entire defense industry - 80% - is owned by private companies, and it is they who must ensure the qualitative changes that the Prime Minister spoke about.
Vadym Kodachyhov, a former soldier of the 241st Brigade, is the director of KORT LLC, a company that develops defense electronic technologies, including combat drones.
"Over the past year, a lot has actually been done, and the biggest achievement of the government is the resolution to allow the purchase of unmanned systems and electronic warfare at the expense of local budgets - this is a significant advancement, and there is much less bureaucracy. Now we are already putting our products up for tender procurement, it is very competitive, so we hope that this area will move forward and we will cooperate much more deeply," explains Kodachyhov.
According to him, another achievement of 2023 was that the brigades themselves began to actively contact manufacturers. In particular, this applies to the 3rd Assault Brigade, the 92nd Brigade, the Main Intelligence Directorate, and the Security Service: "They are very attentive to everything. We are constantly developing new concepts of combat use, equipment that works very effectively at the front. Now we have the opportunity to conclude trilateral contracts: those who finance are the public budget; the second party is the brigades that use our products; and the manufacturer is us."
Currently, KORT can produce 4,000 to 10,000 products per month, but the company has not yet won a government contract.
"We are currently initiating a campaign against drone operators, leveraging not only electronic warfare but also introducing a new development known as the Bureviy concept. This entails an unmanned strike reconnaissance squadron designed to track down and neutralize enemy drone operators. We are now planning a number of measures to ensure that we train a sufficient number of crews," Kodachyhov announced.