Showing posts with label UCAV. Show all posts
Showing posts with label UCAV. Show all posts

Thursday, 7 April 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
With modern U.S., Chinese and Turkish UCAVs already operationally deployed in a multitude of nations and conflicts worldwide, Russia has been notably lagging behind in the development and production of such drones. Favouring instead (manned) attack helicopters like the Ka-52 and Mi-28(N) to perform strike missions while loitering over the battlefield, they adhere to a doctrine that disregards the UCAV's carefully executed reconnaissance and strike operations for more aggressive search and assault missions. Each new conflict of the modern age seems to showcase the merit of the UCAV to greater detail however, and Russia has thus increasingly opted to invest in the concept as well.

Tuesday, 8 March 2022

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By Joost Oliemans and Stijn Mitzer
 
The still early but shockingly brutal invasion of Ukraine by Putin's Russia has thrown the historically tragedy-ridden country back into some of its darkest days. Besieged from three directions whilst a vastly larger military force rains down fire on any target with little to no regard for civilian life, it is struggling for its very right to exist – with Vladimir Putin repeatedly making allusions to his intention of essentially dissolving the country into Russia. Under these circumstances, and with this grim prospective, the Ukrainian people would be forgiven for feeling hopeless and abandoned.

Sunday, 27 February 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer in collaboration with Kemal, Dan and Jakub Janovsky
 
A list of Russian targets confirmed to have been destroyed or neutralised by Bayraktar TB2s over Ukraine can be viewed below. This list only includes destroyed vehicles and equipment of which photo or videographic evidence is available. In some cases this solely consists of footage that was recorded on the ground. In these cases, the use of an armed drone was reported by witnesses on the ground. In an effort to attract as little attention to its operations as possible, very little footage of TB2 strikes over Ukraine has been released. Therefore, the amount of equipment destroyed by TB2s is likely significantly higher than recorded here. The list will be updated as additional footage becomes available.  

Wednesday, 23 February 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans in collaboration with Jakub Janovsky, Dan, and COIN
 
Bin atlı o gün dev gibi bir orduyu yendik! - A thousand cavaliers, we beat a giant army that day! (Akıncılar, by Yahya Kemal Beyatlı)

The Bayraktar TB2 has changed the notion of how modern-day conflicts are being fought that, now that it has been tried and tested in at least three separate conflicts, cannot be reverted. The fact that a relatively light and inexpensive drone could not only evade but actively search out and destroy modern surface-to-air missile (SAM) and electronic warfare (EW) systems while suffering little losses in return has rightfully garnered worldwide attention. The result of the TB2's entry into combat was a stunning upset of the status quo, forcing many countries to rethink their approach to defence.

Monday, 31 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer
 
Indonesia's stated desire to acquire drones from Turkey could one day also see an interest in the Bayraktar TB3, which was designed as a heavier version of the TB2 that can also operate from aircraft carriers and landing helicopter docks (LHDs). [1] The Indonesian Navy has already experimented with using fixed-wing UAVs from the helicopter deck of one of its Dutch-built Diponegoro-class corvettes. [2] Although the UAV could only take-off from the vessel and had to land at an air base, the effort clearly indicates that Indonesia is interested in operating shipborne fixed-wing UAVs.

Tuesday, 25 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer
 
The success of Chinese-made unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) once seemed unstoppable, with countries in the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa acquiring ever larger numbers of Wing Loong and CH-series of UCAVs. This impressive sales record seems to have had little to do with an apparent preference for Chinese UCAVs however. Rather, the UCAV market featured very little competition during the first half of the last decade, particularly if the country looking to acquire UCAVs didn't have the luxury of being able to purchase arms from the United States.

Friday, 21 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer

Vietnam has sought to address its security requirements by fielding a large military apparatus equipped with mostly Soviet-era weaponry that can be quickly reinforced by a massive reserve force armed with anything from World War II-era Soviet rifles to U.S. Main Battle Tanks dating from the 1960s. Modern equipment is relatively lacking in the inventory of the Vietnamese People's Army (VPA), with Vietnam instead preferring to upgrade existing weaponry to keep these combat relevant in the 21st century. A prime example of this is the T-54M3 tank upgrade project.

Monday, 17 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer
 
As the number of nations operating unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) grows larger and larger each year, Jordan retired its entire inventory of UCAVs some two years after they first entered service. At the center of this drastic move was the performance of the country's fleet of six Chinese-made CH-4B armed drones, which's unreliability, incompatibility with other Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF) assets and apparent inability to operate under jamming environments caused the RJAF to put them up for sale after barely seeing any operational use. [1]
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By Stijn Mitzer
 
The discovery of Iranian Ghaem-5 precision-guided munition (PGM) remains near the town of Gidami in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia in early January 2022 was a first indication that the Ethiopian Air Force had forward deployed its Iranian-made Mohajer-6 unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) to an airport closer to the Oromia Region. [1] Satellite imagery now suggests that these armed drones have likely been deployed to Asosa in the neighbouring Benishangul-Gumuz Region. [2] From Asosa the Mohajer-6s have sufficient range to cover most of the Oromia Region where the Oromo Liberation Front (OLA) is currently active.

Friday, 14 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer

The Indonesian Air Force is currently undergoing a re-equipment programme with the aim of building up a qualitative force to defend its territory and counter an increasingly assertive China. Among planned acquisition such as multirole combat aircraft, tanker aircraft and new attack helicopters, the Indonesian Armed Forces are also investing in the acquisition and development of unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs). This has so far included the purchase of six CH-4B drones from China and the design of the indigenous Elang Hitam (Black Eagle) system. [1]

Friday, 7 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer
 
A Ukrainian drone strike on a howitzer belonging to DNR seperatist forces in the contested region of Eastern Ukraine led several countries to voice their concern for the use of unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) in the War in Donbas. [1] Interestingly, this not only included Russia, but also Germany and France. [2] [3] Since the strike, which took place on the 26th of October 2021, tensions between Ukraine and Russia have risen to their highest in years, with a large Russian troop build-up close to the border with Ukraine sparking fears that all out war could be imminent. [4]

Thursday, 6 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer

The last few months have seen a remarkable reversal of fortunes for the Ethiopian government. After a large Ethiopian Army offensive against Tigray forces in early October 2021 backfired spectacularly, the Tigray Defence Forces (TDF) commenced a counteroffensive that at one point even threatened the security of the capital Addis Ababa. [1] Possessing little in the way of air defence systems that can counter (armed) drones flying high overhead, Tigray forces eventually succumbed to the pressure of unabated drone warfare and withdrew to the borders of the Tigray Region in mid-December 2021. [2]

Wednesday, 5 January 2022

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By Farooq Bhai in collaboration with Stijn Mitzer

Pakistan has been a prolific user of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) since the late 1990s. In 2004, the Pakistani Air Force (PAF) inducted the indigenous Satuma Jasoos II ''Bravo+'' UAV, becoming the first branch of the Pakistan Armed Forces to operate UAVs. The Pakistani Army (PA) soon followed suit with another indigenous type, the Uqab P1 UAV designed by Global Industrial & Defence Solutions (GIDS), which entered entered active service with the Pakistani Army in 2008. The design of the Uqab P1 was further refined after incorporating lessons learned during its service with the PA and an improved version, known as the Uqab P2, was later adopted by the Pakistani Navy (PN) in 2010.

Tuesday, 4 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer

Turkmenistan is a large recipient of Israeli arms and equipment, so far including weaponry like the TAR-21 assault rifle and several types of infantry mobility vehicles (IMVs). Arguably lesser known is Turkmenistan's inventory of Israeli-produced unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). This until 2021 consisted of familiar types like the Elbit Skylark and Aeronautics Defense Orbiter 2B, both solely used for reconnaissance missions. These were acquired in the early-2010s, presenting Turkmenistan's first UAVs that were not target drones inherited from the Soviet Union.

Monday, 3 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer
 
Just a month after the deployment of six Emirati Wing Loong I unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) and their operators to Ethiopia, the United Arab Emirates is already implicated in a series of airstrikes on civilian infrastructure in the town of Alamata in the Tigray Region. The strikes resulted in the deaths of 42 civilians and the wounding of at least 150 as munitions struck the town's hospital and market. [1] [2] The majority of deaths are believed to have resulted from unguided bombs dropped by the Ethiopian Air Force's (ETAF) Su-27 fighter aircraft, which Ethiopia has repurposed as makeshift bombers armed with dumb bombs and cluster munitions. [3]

Sunday, 2 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer
 
Satellite imagery from early December 2021 indicates that the Ethiopian Air Force (ETAF) has deployed Mohajer-6 unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) to Harar Meda air base near Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. [1] The ETAF is known to have acquired two Mohajer-6s from Iran in early August, which it subsequently deployed to Semera airport in northeastern Ethiopia. [2] It is unknown whether the Mohajer-6 sighted at Harar Meda is one of the two examples delivered in August or a newly-delivered example that recently arrived to the country on board the Iranian air bridge that is still ongoing. [3]

Wednesday, 29 December 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Ukraine's acquisition and subsequent use of the Turkish Bayraktar TB2 has been a cause of significant concern for separatist forces in Eastern Ukraine, and for Russia, which has provided the Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) and Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) with extensive military support. Although separatist forces in Eastern Ukraine operate significant numbers of anti-aircraft (AA) guns and surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems supplied by Russia, including the 9K33 Osa-AKM (NATO designation: SA-8) and the 9K35 Strela-10 (SA-13), these lack the range to target UCAVs like the Bayraktar TB2 flying overhead at some 5000 metres.

Tuesday, 28 December 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

Egypt has a long tradition of acquiring military equipment from a multitude of sources rather than solely relying on one country in case it's suddenly to be sanctioned, potentially cutting off its military from spare parts and munitions. The Egyptian Air Force currently operates jet aircraft sourced from Russia, France, Czechia, the U.S. and China, and the situation is little different within the other branches of the Egyptian Armed Forces. Although greatly complicating the inventory of spare parts and weaponry, this situation ensures that Egypt is never without a source of armament.

Tuesday, 21 December 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
The Indonesian National Armed Forces are responsible for patrolling an archipelago of 17,000 islands that extend 5,150 kilometers from east to west. For this purpose, it operates a large number of patrol craft and maritime patrol aircraft to keep tabs on illegal entries and activities occurring within its territorial waters. Nonetheless, the sheer size of the archipelago, not to mention the land mass of the islands as well, makes it difficult to monitor. One other way this can be effectively achieved is through the deployment of large numbers of medium-altitude long-endurance MALE UAVs.

Saturday, 18 December 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
In late October 2021 it was announced that Kyrgyzstan had placed an order for three Turkish Bayraktar TB2 unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) from Baykar Tech. [1] The news of the deal came as a surprise not only because Kyrgyzstan was previously not believed to have a requirement for UCAVs, but also because Kyrgyzstan possesses little in the way of an air force in the first place. In fact, the Kyrgyz Air Force only began to operationally deploy fixed-wing aircraft in 2018, and that because the two An-26 transport aircraft in question were donated by Russia. [2] On the 18th of December 2021 the much-anticipated TB2s entered service with the Kyrgyz State Border Guard Service. [3] The TB2s are the first aerial assets known to have entered service with the State Border Guard.