Video footage shared on social media this week shows a Russian Orlan-10 reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) being dramatically shot out of the sky by Ukrainian troops.
The video starts with cell phone footage of the sky, recorded from an area apparently close to the launch site of the rocket. A missile can be seen firing into the sky, leaving behind a trail of smoke, before suddenly striking the Russian drone in the air and causing a small explosion.
Ukrainian forces from the 93rd Mechanized Brigade downed a Russian Orlan-10 near Izyum pic.twitter.com/9ziwt2DV7p
— OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) July 28, 2022
The video was uploaded to Twitter by a host of accounts tracking the war in Ukraine, including the English-language account Ukraine Weapons Tracker.
The video cuts to additional footage of the remains of the drone laid out on a sheet on the ground. Broken pieces of the drone are seen being handled by Ukrainian soldiers who collected the pieces of the equipment after the blast.
According to the analysts that run the account, the Russian drone shot out of the sky was an Orlan-10 reconnaissance UAV.
“A Russian Orlan-10 reconnaissance UAV was shot down today by the Ukrainian 93rd Mechanized Brigade in the vicinity of Izium, #Kharkiv Oblast – reportedly from a distance of 3 km using a FIM-92 Stinger MANPADS,” the tweet notes.
Is Russia Using Jerry-Rigged Orlan-10 Drones?
In April, this outlet reported on video footage released by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense showing a Ukrainian soldier taking apart a captured Russian drone that was apparently held together with duct tape.
The video clip showed a Russian soldier taking apart the drone and revealing a consumer-grade DSLR camera inside of the drone, as well as a plastic bottle cap used as a fuel tank lid.
“This is seriously real, not fake,” the soldier explains in the video “We even thought of sending this ‘cosmic’ technology to our Western partners.”
Similar reports this month also revealed how Russian Orlan-10 drones were being manufactured and repaired using Western technology and other parts sources from all over the world. The reports come as Russia faces intense Western sanctions, cutting the country off from normal supply chains and making it more difficult to obtain materials and parts for military equipment.
CNN published video footage showing the inside of a captured Russian Orlan-10 drone, apparently manufactured in the Special Technology Center in St. Petersburg.
A Ukrainian technical intelligence officer told the outlet how the Orlan-10 drone, the same kind shot down by Ukraine’s FIM-92 Stinger MANPADS this week, used a “Made in the USA” circuit board that is capable of pinpointing signals from cellphones, allowing the drone to locate individual people.
It means that these drones are not all necessarily jerry-rigged and that in some instances, Russia is using Western technology to enhance its drones.
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.