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14 June, 2024
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Drones revolutionize Russia-Ukraine conflict

The rise and impact of unmanned aerial vehicles

The war between Russia and Ukraine is witnessing an increasing use of drones alongside conventional weapons. Drones, once associated with everyday life and recreational purposes, have now become valuable assets on the battlefield. With improved speed, durability, and capabilities, these unmanned aerial vehicles are playing a significant role in the conflict.

Various types of drones are being employed, including the Turkish Bayraktar TB2, the American Switchblade 300 and 600, and the Iranian Shahed 136. Governments are utilizing both consumer and military-grade drones to identify enemy positions, mark targets for bombing, and adapt strategies during failed attacks.

Drones have sparked a military and technological revolution, making them accessible to almost anyone, including private individuals. Their affordability, advancements in stabilization systems, night vision capabilities, and other innovative features have contributed to their widespread adoption.

In the context of Ukraine, both Kyiv and Moscow were initially ill-prepared for the use of drones. However, Russia has made significant purchases of Iranian and Israeli models due to sanctions and technological limitations. Ukraine, though initially disadvantaged, has made notable developments in its drone capabilities, including the RAM, PD-1, UJ-22, and Viber drones. Additionally, the United States has provided Switchblade 300 and 600 drones to Ukraine, with the Turkish Bayraktar TB2 being a standout performer.

Despite their increasing use, doubts remain regarding drones' destructive capacity to cause strategic damage. While drones can target strategic locations, they have yet to become a decisive factor in the conflict. The analogy drawn is similar to the role of aviation in World War I, transitioning from a novelty to a recognized weapon of the future.

Despite their increasing use, doubts remain regarding drones' destructive capacity to cause strategic damage.

Both Ukraine and Russia are seeking drone acquisitions. Russia has signed a contract for 2,000 units, its largest purchase to date. However, a larger number of unmanned aerial vehicles is necessary to make drone warfare truly effective.

Suppliers of drones to Ukraine and Russia include Israel and Iran. Turkish drones have also played a significant role in Ukraine's retaliatory attacks. Geopolitics and technological advancements, including artificial intelligence, are shaping the development and application of drones. Companies like SpaceX are even influencing the course of the war through their involvement in the drone industry.

As the conflict continues, drones are expected to play an increasingly influential role, prompting questions about the level of autonomy and control they possess and the role of humans in their operation. The use of drones represents a new dimension in warfare and geopolitical dynamics, with far-reaching implications for the future.

[With information sourced from Euronews]

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