Russia Is Only Now Starting to Use Its Enormous Fleet of Small Drones in Ukraine

They've used them extensively in Syria and Donbass, why were they missing at war start?

Excellent for avoiding ambushes and guiding indirect fire

Editor’s note: Possibly no other power has so many small drones and trains with them as much. Yet they were missing despite use in 2015 in the Debaltsevo battle, Syria, and numerous exercises.

Earlier, Russian advance lacked reconnaissance and combat drones that were part of their regular tactics as defined by training, exercises, and military deployments to Syria and Nagorno-Karabakh.

As the Russian military adjusted its operations, tightened supply and logistics, and continued the advance from Crimea, Donbass and south to Kyiv and Kharkiv, more evidence emerged of Russian drones in ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance) and target acquisition capacity.

Downed Orlan-10s, captured Eleron-3s and Eniks target drones evidence that the Russian military is returning to its concept of operations where drones scout the area, report adversary movements and positions, and provide coordinates for artillery, rocket artillery and airborne assets.

Now, additional evidence is emerging from both Ukrainian posts and Russian public channels that not only is the Russian military increasing its ISR capability with what looks like ZALA surveillance drones, but additional combat capability is added with Orion/Forpost-R drones.

Forpost-R is a fully modernized drone acquired from Israel over a decade ago, with combat capability recently demonstrated during Zapad-2021 drills with Belarus. At the same time, we saw no evidence so far of Leer-3 EW capability that was demonstrated in East Ukraine and Syria.

At the same time, it looks like Russian military started using KUB loitering munition UAV, and possibly Lancet loitering drone use may not be far behind. [Loitering drone = suicide drone.]

What to expect in the coming days? While the above-mentioned UAV capabilities did not appear well coordinated at first, and Russian forces still walked into Ukrainian ambushes, we should expect Russian military to field more ISR drones and increasingly use its combat UAV capacity via Forpost-R and Orlan-10 (which can also be refitted to a combat version).

Additionally, Russian military could be using commercial-type quadrocopter/multirotor drones for close-range tactical ISR.

Russian MOD will also be releasing more videos of its drone strikes to compete with successful campaign by Ukrainian TB2 combat drones.

Source: Samuel Bendett


The previous situation (no drones):

  1. Face of Castlereagh says

    Earlier, Russian advance lacked reconnaissance and combat drones that were part of their regular tactics as defined by training, exercises, and military deployments to Syria and Nagorno-Karabakh.

    I have a copy of “Soviet Documents on the Use of War Experience’ Volume III (my volume only covers the period of 1941-1942). It is basically a post war record of field reports documenting wartime maneuvers, with a goal of retaining the costly experience learned during these battles.

    I have a similar massive volume that the US Army prepared after the war pertaining to the command staff doing almost everything wrong during the Battle of Bulge (although it does not concede this openly), which sent my own grandfather to his death.

    The Soviet lessons in Volume III include the observation that attempting to move entire intact units as a formation across water barriers in the Crimea AoO was costly, while it worked well to separate out battle groups that could offer what we today would term ‘interlocking support’.

    It is interesting to me to pair these command staff observations assembled by high-ranking officers with a postwar memoir I have written by Evgeni Bessonov, ‘(Tank Rider’), who was a front-line Jr. officer on the Eastern Front.

    Bessonov would have likely been opposite from Guy Sajer (memoir -‘Forgotten Soldier’) during these battles – he is almost certainly engaging elements of Sajer’s GrossDeutschland Infantry Division in some of these battles. He recounts being sent out night after night in a battle group with some explosive charges to attempt to destroy a machine gun nest protected by barbed wire, and each night they are forced to retreat with casualties.

    His real-life experience of having to dive into shell craters to survive adds the observation of someone who is looking at the matter practically instead of theoretically. Bessonov notes in his memoir that if his battle group had access to a few decidedly low-tech wire cutter hand tools, the attacks would have succeeded. If you look at the Soviet bayonet issued post war with the AK platform, it builds a wire cutter into the bayonet – possibly because of the input of men like Bessonov.

    I think that it all boils down to ‘There is no substitute for experience’, and as noted by the Philosopher Mike Tyson, ‘everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face’.

  2. DannyWhite says

    Can’t win a war if you don’t fight a war
    The Russian Peace Keepers are doing an awesome job in Ukrain.
    The russian people should be proud of their professionalism
    But the USA NATO trained and funded terrorists are making them pay with their lives for their caution and desire to avoid civilian causalities.
    Bless the Russians, draining the swamp that the USA created in Ukrain

  3. Martillo says

    As the saying goes “Russians are slow to saddle but when they do they ride like the wind.”
    Meanwhile the emasculated garbage in Natostan wags its fag finger and the tail in Washing town wags its dog…but that’s all they’ll do apart from unleashing their terrorist trash into the Ukrop cauldron. Iran takes down some Mossad filth in Erbil and nobody notices. The paper tigers are set to flame.

    Meanwhile the end of the IOU fiat filth Saudi Mercan toilet paper dollah and its bastard gimp €urodollah is ready to flush the entire ponzi sewer and all the blood of rump Ukropland and its Azov poison will never get it back.

    Onward to the end of the anglozionazi empire of shit and cartoon NAZI flusher in chief, Klaws Slob of the so-called WEF.

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