Espreso. Global

Russia cannot defend itself against Ukrainian drone attacks — ISW

31 March, 2024 Sunday
11:15

Russian troops are forming mobile fire groups to counter Ukrainian drones, but it will be difficult to deploy them at the  scale needed in the near future

This is stated in a report by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

ISW noted that the Russian military is forming mobile fire groups as part of unspecified combined arms armies, air and air defense armies to combat drones.

The Russian army plans to equip the new fire groups with thermal imagers, electronic warfare systems, and machine guns mounted on pickup trucks. At the same time, information about the location of the groups, their size and echelon is not disclosed.

ISW analysts note that the Russian military, in particular, faces the threat of Ukrainian drones both in the occupied territories of Ukraine and in Russia - at oil refineries and other critical infrastructure facilities that support the Russian military efforts. It is unclear whether these mobile groups will be able to defend the territory targeted by Ukrainian drones, the report says.

It also reported that the description of the Russian mobile fire groups is similar to the Ukrainian tactical mobile fire groups, which Ukraine began to deploy en masse last spring to protect against regular attacks by Shahed-136/131 drones.

"Ukrainian forces have long been conducting drone strikes against Russian targets in occupied Ukraine, and the Russian military command’s decision to form the mobile fire groups is likely in response to the recent intensification of Ukrainian drone strikes against Russian oil refineries in February and March," the Institute's experts believe.

The report adds that Russian troops are likely to have difficulty properly deploying short-range air defense systems along the expected flight vectors of Ukrainian UAVs, while the Russian military appears to have failed to even cover important potential targets in well-protected areas of Russia.

"The mass deployment of mobile fire groups throughout western Russia could pose similar challenges for Russian forces, as the Russian military may not be able to sufficiently field the groups at scale," ISW concluded.

  • On March 21, Russia claimed that its air defense system had allegedly shot down 10 "air targets" over Belgorod and the region. They say that there was an alleged fire in a house and a casualty, as well as damage.

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