New Russian kamikaze drones raise concerns
The Air Force of the Ukrainian Armed Forces warned about the threats posed by these low-cost drones
Defense Express writes about it.
In the recent night attacks on October 23, the Russian military unleashed kamikaze drones and guided missiles. Thirteen Shahed-136 drones, one Kh-59 missile, and an unspecified drone were launched, all of which were neutralized
The "unspecified" drone, however, has resurfaced, potentially cheaper and more widespread than the Shahed-136. According to Yuriy Ihnat, spokesperson for the Ukrainian Air Force Command, these drones are made from easily accessible components, like a standard internet-purchased engine and an airframe constructible at any aviation modeling club.
An examination of a downed drone from May revealed a plywood fuselage, a plastic bottle used as a fuel tank, and a corner reflector to increase its radar visibility. The DLE 60 60CC engine, also identified on the latest drone, can be bought for less than $500 on AliExpress.
These drones can be assembled by anyone, which is concerning given their potential payload capacity. The Ukrainian Air Force Command stressed the need to destroy such targets swiftly.
Notably, the Russian military is using these drones to strain Ukrainian air defense systems. During the recent missile attack, Shahed-136 drones emerged as tools to divert and exhaust Ukrainian air defenses. Now, these "unspecified" drones are becoming a primary means of remote attacks, complicating the situation.
Ukraine is also capable of producing even more cost-effective drones, such as the cardboard-based PPDS from Australian SYPAQ, offering a 5 kg payload and a 120 km flight range. The emphasis should be on local production to ensure a steady supply.
Ukraine has received batches of these drones and successfully employed them. However, achieving complete domestic production is crucial for security.