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Mass, cheapness win in war of attrition: expert on dynamics of technical changes at front

12 April, 2024 Friday
20:35
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Valentyn Badrak, director of the Centre for Army, Conversion and Disarmament Studies, military expert, analyzes the new reality of modern warfare, where massive and affordable technologies are changing the rules of the game, depleting traditional air defense systems and artillery

He shared his opinion on Espreso TV.

"Since about September, the military has actually been signalling from the frontline that the drone war has begun, and this, on the one hand, was caused by the lack of modern artillery systems and, I would say, smart ammunition that could be actively used in Ukraine and in the aggressor country itself, Russia. Immediately, there was a competition to modernize these drones. We saw very serious things happening, meaning that the dynamics of change has increased several times since September 2023. We have seen the creation of FPV drones with self-acquisition of targets, we have seen drones with thermal imagers, which was not the case before," the military expert emphasizes.

According to him, Russia seems to have developed a communication system and is moving to dynamic variable frequencies, which will significantly affect the situation with drones at the front.

"At the same time, the military estimates the effectiveness of FPV drones at about 10 to 40%, and says that it takes about 10 drones to destroy, for example, a tank. A lot of drones are lost, electronic warfare is very active - these are old and new technologies, for example, from hunting rifles that shoot down small drones to electronic warfare rifles - very diverse technologies," Badrak explains.

The director of the Centre for Army, Conversion and Disarmament Studies said that interceptor systems are being developed very actively.

"The Americans have already purchased as many as 600 Coyotes, these interceptors, and all this prompts experts to talk about certain changes. There are now opinions that, firstly, electronic warfare will have a greater impact; secondly, there will be changes in the sense that, for example, ground operations will form the core of capabilities on the battlefield, and in early January, the Ukrainians demonstrated several interesting things. In particular, a 'kamikaze' drone destroyed a bridge after flying as far as 4 km to the enemy. This is a very interesting trend," the expert added.

Badrak spoke about the main conclusion to be drawn about military technology: "We are fighting a combined war. This is when very expensive things are confronted with very cheap but massive technologies. We see that cheap mass technologies are beginning to dominate the war of attrition. We see the exhaustion of the Ukrainian air defense system, we see the exhaustion of Russian artillery, when drones outperform and increase the efficiency of work and perform 30-40% of artillery." 

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