The future belongs to the drone: “A new era of warfare”

Drones play a significant role in Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, and this use is strongly present on both sides. Never before have so many drones been used in a conflict.

This week, Russia has stepped up its drone attacks on the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. This is presumably interpreted as a response to attacks against Russian targets attributed to Ukraine, such as the German news website reports. Within a short period of time, the prestigious Moscow City business district was hit twice. According to Oleksiy Melnyk, co-director of the Kyiv-based Razumkov think tank, these incidents demonstrate the precision and extended range of drones allegedly manufactured in Ukraine. Melnyk explains, “These buildings symbolize Moscow’s wealth and are located in the middle of the Russian capital. Thus, the attacks cannot be overlooked.”

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy remarks over the weekend basically confirmed this: “The war is slowly returning to Russia’s territory – to its symbolic centers and military bases. This is inevitable and fully justified.”

In this conflict, smaller drones in particular play a significant role – both on the side of the conflict parties and on the side of the opponents. These drones are readily available, easy to handle and cost little. They are also extremely versatile. They are used for both reconnaissance missions and offensive operations and are difficult to repel due to their large numbers.

Both warring parties equip commercial unmanned aerial vehicles with explosive charges and deploy so-called kamikaze drones. In addition, both sides have extended the range of their unmanned aerial vehicles. Yegor Chernev, chairman of Ukraine’s defense committee, is convinced that the future belongs to drones. He argues that just one or two naval drones could destroy a warship worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Image: Mostafa Tehrani, 61-پهپاد ایران- آرش, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons, (no changes made)

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