They may be shot in clusters to overcome air defenses, are very inexpensive, and have a high degree of accuracy.
Killer drones’ reputation as a powerful, cost-effective weapon was solidified in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, when they were used to hunt out and destroy targets while spreading the type of fear that can weaken the will of troops and people alike.
Russia’s release of swarms of Iranian-made Shahed drones over Ukraine serves numerous purposes, including the destruction of strategic targets, the demoralization of the opposition, and the depletion of enemy resources.
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Ukraine also has what are known as hovering weapons, such as the Shahed drones that Russia has renamed as Geran-2.
They contain explosives and may be set to go to a certain GPS location. They may circle above, waiting for the perfect moment to plunge in for the kill. Like the Japanese kamikaze pilots of World War II, who intentionally crashed their bomb-laden planes into American ships and carriers in the Pacific.
The delta-wing Shahed is 3.5 meters (11.5 feet) long, 2.5 meters (8 feet, 3 inches) broad, and weighs about 200 kg, as reported by the Ukrainian online newspaper Defense Express, which sources Iranian statistics (440 pounds). The maximum speed is 185 kilometers per hour, and the engine produces 50 horsepower (114 mph).
Behnam Ben Taleblu, a senior scholar at the Washington, D.C., think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies, claims the drone was used in Yemen and in a fatal oil tanker strike last year.
Drone specialist Samuel Bendett of the CNA think tank claimed the Shahed is being utilized in Ukraine at far lower ranges than its theoretical maximum of roughly 1,000 kilometers (621 miles). This is due to the fact that its GPS guiding system is easily disrupted.
It is well-documented that the Iranians used radio transmissions to exert control over shaheds. It is unknown if Russia has the capability to do the same in the Ukrainian theater.
Russia can flood Ukraine with Shaheds without endangering pilot lives or advanced aircraft since they are so inexpensive and numerous.
The mayor of Kyiv, Ukraine, Vitali Klitschko, revealed that 28 drones were used in the assault on the city on Monday. The drones can be launched from a truck launcher in quick succession, and since they fly so slowly and at such low altitudes, they may evade radar detection.
Actually, they don’t swarm, as pointed out by Bendett. Communication between many unmanned aerial vehicles is possible because to such advanced drone technology. Instead, the Shahed are released large masse to overwhelm defenders, especially in populated regions. They have accepted the fact that “most will not make it through,” he added.
However, their ability to instill fear far outweighs whatever explosive force they could possess.
Researcher at Ukraine’s National Institute for Strategic Studies Mykola Bielieskov claims that the Shahed’s 40-kilogram (88-pound) explosive charge is insignificant compared to the 1,050-pound (480-kilogram) payload of a conventional missile.
It’s hard to attack significant targets with these drones, Bielieskov remarked.