U.S.-made Switchblade UAVs "Insignificant," Russian Orlan-type Drones Needed: Ukrainian Expert

  • DefenseMirror.com Bureau
  • 12:10 PM, October 21, 2022
  • 1764
U.S.-made Switchblade UAVs
Switchblade-300 attack drones

United States- made 'Switchblade-300,' Kamikaze drones supplied to the Ukrainian Forces have had "insignificant" impact on the battlefield as they are not powerful enough to destroy enemy heavy equipment such as tanks and armored vehicles.

"The Switchblade-300 attack drones lack sufficiently powerful standard uniform ammunition, as well as launchers with high-precision targeting," according to Major General Yuriy Danyk, Advisor to the General Director of Ukroboronprom (Ukrainian Arms Production Agency) on high-tech systems.

Instead, the Ukrainian Army need attack UAVs similar to the Russian 'Orlan' Drone, which is not only budget-friendly but easy to manufacture and use; besides it is sufficiently resistant to damage, he said.

"We need our own similar models, preferably better than what the enemy has," Danyk said in an interview to a Ukrainian Website, Dev.ua.

U.S.-made Switchblade UAVs
Orlan-10 reconnaissance drone

Ukraine suffering due to lack of "unified" drones

"Today, the Ukrainian military uses more than 100 different models of unmanned aerial systems of various origins. Partner countries gave something, volunteers bought something," he said which is creating logistical issues in terms of training, launcher systems, ammunition and payload.

To operate at an operational depth, UAVs must be "unified," in terms of similarity of ground control systems, servicing, engines and payload. "UAVs are needed that can stay in the air for at least 24 hours and perform tasks at a range of 80-180km with different, but also unified payloads," he commented.

The time spent in the air by such drones determines the effectiveness of their combat use. Including how long they will perform a combat mission in relation to the time of going to the place of its execution and returning back. How many times in the process of combat use the drone will be forced to fly across the line of contact while trying not to come under anti-aircraft fire and the effect of EW devices.

U.S.-made Switchblade UAVs
Russian artillery rocket firing in Ukraine

Ukraine needs drones to upset Russia's superiority in Artillery

Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine is characterised by the use rocket and barrel artillery since it has large stocks of shells and rockets. It should be admitted that in this case Ukraine is not yet able to answer with quantity for quantity.

There are a number of factors responsible: participation of Ukraine after the collapse of the USSR in international programs to reduce artillery of certain calibers and disposal of ammunition, long-term underfunding of the army, known warehouse fires, etc.

Therefore, our response must be asymmetric. For example, high-precision destruction of enemy objects using drones. These are strikes on electronic intelligence, radar stations, ammunition, fuel, weapons and equipment depots, as well as supply chains, he summarised.

For this, you need a class of drones that are not only capable of staying in the air for long, carry sufficient fire-power, avoid obstacles and at the same time cheap to mass-produce.

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