Russia Takes On Ukrainian Drones as World Watches UAV Technology – Kursk regional governor Roman Starovoyt said on Telegram on Monday that Russian forces successfully shot down two Ukrainian drones near the border overnight.
“Today at 4:15 am Russian air defence crews shot down two Ukrainian drones,” the governor said. “There are no casualties, injuries or damage. The situation is completely under control.”
Hundreds of American-made drones have been given to Ukraine by the United States in recent weeks, with additional drones and weaponry supplied by other NATO forces. The Switchblade 300 UAV, a loitering munition that locates a target and explodes on impact, are one of the most commonly used American drones in Ukraine.
Ukrainian soldiers present in the United States at the outbreak of the war in February have also been trained to use the larger Switchblade 600 drones by U.S. soldiers.
Seth Frantzman, the Senior Middle East Correspondent at The Jerusalem Post, argued last week that Ukraine is “fast becoming a test bed for new types of drones so that other countries can see how effective they may be in future wars.”
Frantzman’s analysis of Ukraine’s heavy use of unmanned aerial vehicles and suicide drones comes as the United States announces a brand-new Phoenix Ghost Drone designed specifically for the Ukrainian military. Built by USAF, the drone was designed to help Ukrainian soldiers fend off Russian troops regrouping in the eastern region of Donbas.
Citing the ease of use of drones, which can be operated from ground control stations, Frantzman argues that Western countries are now beginning to see how UAVs could be used to not only help Ukraine but their own militaries too.
“The US has said it wants to learn to confront these near-peer adversaries after fighting terrorists for years, and in Ukraine, the US and others have a chance,” he writes.
Japan Reportedly Eying Drones Used by Ukraine
Reports suggest that Japan has also been watching the performance of drone technology in the Ukraine-Russia conflict, with the nation’s military leaders considering whether to add attack UAVs to their arsenal.
Yoshihide Toshida, the chief of staff of the Ground Self-Defence Forces, said on March 17 that there is “no doubt that reconnaissance and attack functionality using a multitude of low-cost ‘swarm drones’ would be militarily advantageous.”
The Japanese Coast Guard has also reportedly been testing the ability of American-made UAVs since last year, with the aim of incorporating the devices into search-and-rescue missions.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.