Bayraktar is not the whole story

I’ve been writing about them for quite some time as the reason Ukraine still maintains air power. Combine them with javelins, stingers and other man portable air defense systems (MANPADS) and you really do not need many planes in the air.

Big and slow Turkish-made drones have been thwarting Russian advances in Ukraine war – Raw Story – Celebrating 18 Years of Independent Journalism:

The fog of war often is pretty thick, if not impenetrable. That could be why military experts around the world are having a hard time figuring out how Ukraine’s air defenses, thus far, largely have bested Russia’s air assaults. Ukraine’s most sophisticated attack drone, which has achieved remarkable success against Vladimir Putin’s high-tech air force, is a slow, low-flying and completely defenseless drone

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This drone moves so slowly (50-60 knots) and can stay low that radar has a hard time finding it. It has a 65 kg payload, allowing it to carry up to 4 missiles, laser guided and capable of taking out a tank, artillery systems, anti-aircraft guns, rocket systems, and even aircraft. It has a 12 m wingspan and a maximum weight at takeoff of 650 kg. It has a range of 6000 km and can fly for 25 hours.

Cost is $4-5 million. And its attacks can be devastating.

It has lead to its own pop song.

But there is another drone, made in Ukraine instead of Turkey. It is called the Punisher. Designed and built in Ukraine by a company started by vets from previous conflicts, like against Russia in Crimea, it is tine, with a 7.5 foot wingspan. It can fly for several hours on its electric engine at low altitudes, making it very hard to see or hear.

Predator

But what is really cool is that its control features have been offload to an even smaller drone called Spectre that flies with it. Spectre can identify possible targets and tell Punisher where to send its payloads.

The payloads are not large, uo to 6 pounds. That is why it works best against stationary targets, like ammunition dumps or fuel trucks stuck. And it takes less then 10 minutes to redeploy after arriving back to base.

These drones are allowing Ukraine to control the skies about as well as their planes. add in MANPADS that can take out combat aircraft and Ukraine has a potent defense.

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