The Future of Drone Warfare
Ukraine is using $400 drones to destroy tanks:
Facing an enemy with superior numbers of troops and armor, the Ukrainian defenders are holding on with the help of tiny drones flown by operators like Firsov that, for a few hundred dollars, can deliver an explosive charge capable of destroying a Russian tank worth more than $2 million.
A typical FPV weighs up to one kilogram, has four small engines, a battery, a frame and a camera connected wirelessly to goggles worn by a pilot operating it remotely. It can carry up to 2.5 kilograms of explosives and strike a target at a speed of up to 150 kilometers per hour, explains Pavlo Tsybenko, acting director of the Dronarium military academy outside Kyiv.
“This drone costs up to $400 and can be made anywhere. We made ours using microchips imported from China and details we bought on AliExpress. We made the carbon frame ourselves. And, yeah, the batteries are from Tesla. One car has like 1,100 batteries that can be used to power these little guys,” Tsybenko told POLITICO on a recent visit, showing the custom-made FPV drones used by the academy to train future drone pilots.
“It is almost impossible to shoot it down,” he said. “Only a net can help. And I predict that soon we will have to put up such nets above our cities, or at least government buildings, all over Europe.”
Science fiction authors have been writing about drone swarms for decades. Now they are reality. Tanks today. Soon it will be ships (probably with more expensive drones). Feels like this will be a major change in warfare.