Ukraine War Day #88: Ukraine As Training Polygon? (continued)

Dear Readers:

Today we will focus on drones. I have this piece by reporter Dmitry Zubarev, the headline reads:

Shoigu Announced The Introduction Of Strategic Drones Among The Troops

Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu appeared at a meeting at the Defense Ministry collegium and announced that: “In the very near future drones will be quickly provided to Russian troops.” This announcement can be filed under the rubric of “lessons learned, and lessons learned quickly” — one of the reasons why Russia is winning this war is because their commanders have been able to adapt nimbly to changing conditions and setbacks. In war time things happen quickly, and innovations are introduced under real-time crisis conditions. Which is why, as I have said, war is the best war game of all. A simulated war might not have revealed some of these stark weaknesses in the Russian strategic toolbox. War is also a time when one can observe the enemy in action and learn some lessons from him, if he has something useful to teach. In this case, the enemy is NATO, and the Russians are learning something from him.

Shoigu: “Okay, you convinced me.”

It’s not like Russia never used drones before, they did. It’s just that Shoigu, watching the Ukrainian experience, and also how the Ukrainian army uses drones, has come to think that the use of these devices must be expanded to the strategic level.

Shoigu: The use of these machines will help to conserve the lives of soldiers, and will also significantly lower expenses for the solving of intelligence-gathering and other military tasks; will also help to lower expenses for ammunition and aviation resources. “Modern complexes of operative flying drone apparati continue to arrive every day, and are being deployed in our army and fleet.”

As in many other hardware issues, Syria was a big testing ground for these devices, starting as early as 2015. Since the start of the Syrian operation, over 58,000 drone sorties were accomplished over the skies of Syria.

Meanwhile, Shoigu’s Deputy, Alexei Krivoruchko announced that Russia is busy producing a new model called the C-70 Okhotnik (“Hunter”). The first prototype recently was produced at a Novosibirsk Aviation Factory named after Chkalov. This is a 6-generation drone which can perform complex reconnaissance missions and also carry rockets and bombs, while also serving as a helper to piloted aircraft.

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5 Responses to Ukraine War Day #88: Ukraine As Training Polygon? (continued)

  1. Stephen T Johnson says:

    The Okhotnik is very interesting, especially because, as I understand it, it’s designed to function as an unmanned wingman for (at least) Su-57 fighters. That’s (AFAIK) a whole new approach in drones.
    It’s fascinating watching all these little civilian quadcopters, (albeit, people all seem to want to attach heavy metal soundtracks to them, not quite my cup of coffee) but I do think the RF want something a little more integrated for scouting, but one of the existing models may turn out to be really great (Kub-bla, Orlan, who knows?) I’ll lay odds on that there’s a substantial review going on right now (and will be ongoing) of what’s working well, and what isn’t. Certainly seems to be in the Russian social media space


    • yalensis says:

      Yes, Russian drones currently act as spotters and wingman while Sukhoi is flying around looking for a date.
      The big change, from what I understand, is that Shoigu wants every infantry battalion to have their own pet drone. To do infantry stuff, whatever that is.


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  3. Bukko Boomeranger says:

    Instead of Radar O’Reillys*, in the future, all fighting units will haveta roll with a Dronar O’Reilly. He’ll be named Dronar Orillsky in the Russian forces.

    The electronic cat-and-mouse games must be mind-bending. Both sides have drones. They operate with electronic signals. So there will be O’Reillys/Orillskys trying to detect and jam those drones. And weapons that hone in on the dronesignals so they can destroy the signalling drones. And killer robots that follow the dronesignals back to their opponent’s O’Reilly/Orillsky in order to blow him up, the way counter-battery fire does with artillery.

    The air we can see will be buzzing with whirly things, the way it used to be with birds and insects when they were migrating or spawning. Before humanity wiped so many of them out with our chemicals and other destruction. The airwaves we can’t see will be filled with competing wavelengths and screechy stuff to scramble those wavelengths. What a ball of confusion!

    Will it be as crappy as Verizon cellphone service? Suppose when you were using mobile Internet and it glitched out for some technical reason, you didn’t just miss a bit of a funny cat video? You got blowed up instead. (Insert joke about Microsoft programming of war weaponry here…) It’s going to make it so much suckier to be a soldier, because of all extra homework that will be required to learn this stuff. Old soldiers will bore the camo off young ones with their tales about “When I enrolled, sonny, all we had to learn was how to carry the assault rifle and rocket-propelled grenades…”

    *For Yalensis’s readers who aren’t up on ancient American popcult, Radar was an army clerk on the 1970s TV show “M*A*S*H” who had acute hearing that could sense incoming Medevac choppers before anyone else. If you live in an English-speaking country, there’s probably an episode playing on your local rerun TV station RIGHT NOW


    • yalensis says:

      Wow, thanks Bukko! I think your predictions for the future are spot on, and it all sounds very complicated and mind-blowing. I am so glad I am not a soldier, I was never very good at multitasking anyhow…

      Here is a picture of Radar, I think he just wishes he could get his funny cat video back without all this futuristic stuff:


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