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Smart Bombs: Military, Defense and National Security

Putin Is Trying to Destroy Ukraine’s Radar with Drones

Switchblade drone. Image Credit: Industry handout.

VIDEO: Ukrainian Surveillance Radar Taken Out By Russian Loitering Munition – Video footage shared online last week shows a Ukrainian mobile surveillance radar system being taken out by a Russian loitering munition.

The video, recorded from above by the Russian drone, shows the Ukrainian radar system on the ground seemingly unaware of the imminent threat.

The clip then switches to footage of the radar system surrounded by smoke as it suffers several attacks from Russian loitering munition.

The clip jumps through several angles, showing what looks like two failed attempts at striking the radar system. The final part of the clip, however, seems to suggest that the radar system was eventually struck.

The footage, recorded from the loitering munition itself, cuts out the moment that the attack drone gets only inches away from the radar – and the close proximity to the two vehicles that house the equipment suggests that they were hit just milliseconds after the video footage cuts out.

Ukraine Weapons Tracker, a popular online war-tracking social media account, noted that the radar system destroyed in the clip was a Ukrainian P-18ML long-range VHF surveillance radar.

“A Ukrainian P-18ML long-range VHF surveillance radar was taken out of action by a Russian Lancet loitering munition,” a Twitter post from Ukraine Weapons Tracker reads.

No information about the location of the radar was provided, nor was a date attached to the posts on social media – however, the footage does appear to be new.

Adapted Soviet Radars

As Ukraine Weapons Tracker notes, the P-18ML radar system is a modernized version of the Soviet P-18 which was modified in Lithuania. The radars in the video above were installed onto a new chassis and given upgraded electronics.

The radar was upgraded by Altimus-Tech, a Lithuanian company that specializes in designing air traffic control and surveillance data acquisition technology.

The Altimus-Tech website also focuses on military radar system and surface-to-air missile systems.

“Altimus-Tech is specializing in the development and manufacturing of advanced radar data collection and processing systems for civil and defence markets ranging from multilevel command and control posts for all types of armed forces to multipurpose surveillance radars, data recorders and simulators,” the Altimus-Tech website reads.

“Being incorporated and operating in a EU state Altimus-Tech is a full-cycle manufacturer and keeps high standards of rendered services, high product quality while at the same time offering scalable and cost-effective solutions.”

The P-18ML radar features automatic tracking features and can obtain data from other surveillance radars.

Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor.

Written By

Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive's Breaking News Editor. He 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.