Showing posts with label Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Show all posts

Friday, 8 April 2022

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By Joost Oliemans and Stijn Mitzer
 
In a conflict that is shaping up to be one of the most intense and rapidly developing of our time, drones have come to play an increasingly important role, and could well end up being one of the pivotal factors in its eventual conclusion. Thus, the delivery of at least 16 additional Bayraktar TB2 UCAVs, on top of the 18 already in Ukraine's pre-war inventory, constitutes perhaps one of the most significant instances of support to Ukraine's plight yet. [1] Now evidence has emerged that Turkey's drone contributions have not remained limited to the TB2, with new combat footage of Baykar's Mini-Bayraktar UAV confirming their delivery to the country. [2]

Sunday, 20 March 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer in collaboration with Joost Oliemans Kemal, Dan and Jakub Janovsky
  
A detailed list of destroyed, damaged and captured aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) of both sides can be seen below. This list is constantly updated as additional footage becomes available.

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
 
Turkey's rise to a global drone power has drawn attention from all corners of the world. While there likely have been few developments in the past years that have benefited NATO as much as the profileration of the Bayraktar TB2, others maintain that Turkish drones pose a threat to NATO or even world peace. Disregarding the fact that two NATO countries have so far ordered the TB2 and five more NATO member states are presently considering their acquisition, some of the claims from certain American politicians seem to be made on their personal background or family ties. [1]

Tuesday, 22 February 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer

The Malaysian government seeks to turn the country into Southeast Asia's testing ground for drones, in which international companies will design and produce unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for carrying out deliveries and to provide other unique services. [1] With these unmanned ambitions in mind, it is perhaps all the more surprising that the Malaysian government has invested little in the acquisition of UAVs for its armed forces, this despite the presence of an indigenous drone industry that has come up with several military-grade drone designs since the early 2000s.

Monday, 14 February 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer

The Central Asian region isn't exactly well-known for its armed-drone prowess. Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan currently operate small numbers of unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs), with Kyrgyzstan having entered the age of drone-powered warfare only in late 2021. [1] Whilst Uzbekistan possesses a modest unmanned aerial reconnaissance capability in the form of several RQ-11 Ravens received from the US in 2018, it can be argued that only one Central Asian country has been expanding its unmanned arsenal to keep up with the newest trends: Turkmenistan.

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.

Wednesday, 19 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer

During the 2021 edition of Teknofest in Istanbul it was announced that Turkey intends to organise its Teknofest technology festival in other countries as well. [1] Several nations come to mind that maintain a strong relationship with Turkey and are a recipient of Turkish arms and technology, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). One such country is Azerbaijan, which has made significant investments in the acquisition and production of various types of unmanned weapon systems and is currently looking to expand on its domestic technology base.

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.

Wednesday, 12 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer
 
The Bayraktar Akıncı is the world's first production multi-role unmanned combat aircraft. Arguably the most innovative aspect of the Akıncı is its capability to use air-to-air missiles (AAMs), consisting of the indigenous Bozdoğan IIR-guided AAM and the (fire-and-forget) Gökdoğan BVRAAMs. Another novel feature is the ability to use the 275+km-ranged SOM family of cruise missiles designed to be used against enemy command posts, SAM sites, hardened bunkers ships or any other target that requires a precision hit.

Tuesday, 11 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer
 
''Don't bother to devote your energy to achieving impossible dreams. Just establish a bridge between us and them [western defence manufacturers], act as our translators, that's enough.'' (Address to Selçuk and Haluk Bayraktar by a bureaucrat at the Presidency of Defense Industries, mid-2000s) [1]
 
The concept of swarm-UAVs could drastically alter the way wars are being fought, with swarms of nimble UAVs attacking ground and air targets, carrying out reconnaissance missions and conducting electronic warfare missions all the while remaining in close contact with each other, providing a layer of independent operations not yet seen on the battlefield before. For all their novelty, most swarm-UAV concepts that are currently being tested are still years away from being fielded operationally.

Monday, 10 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer

In November 2021 it was announced that Kazakhstan had signed a contract with Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) for the delivery of three TAI Anka unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs). [1] Their purchase comes some six years after the Kazakh Air Force first acquired an armed drone capability in the form of four Wing Loong Is from China. [2] Rather than acquiring more Chinese-made UCAVs, in 2021 Kazakhstan turned to Turkey to press on its armed drone programme. Another supplier of UAVs to Kazakhstan is Israel, which however doesn't export UCAVs abroad.

Friday, 7 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer
 
Not even a week after our earlier revelation that Wing Loong I armed drones operated by the United Arab Emirates over Tigray have possibly been involved in series of airstrikes on the town of Alamata that caused the deaths of dozens of civilians, Iranian unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) are now implicated in the same act. [1] New photographs depict the remains of an Iranian Ghaem-5 precision-guided munition (PGM) encountered near the town of Gidami in the Oromia Region in Ethiopia. [2] Although the drone strikes are reported to have resulted in the destruction of civilian infrastructure and the killing of civilians, these reports have not been independently verified. [2]
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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.