April 01, 2024

The Russians Sent A Platoon Of Grenade-Hurling Robotic Mini-Tanks Into Battle. The Ukrainians Blew Up The ‘Bots In The Usual Way: With Drones.

Source: Forbes

Journalist: David Axe

That the Russian UGVs are vulnerable to Ukrainian UAVs didn’t surprise Samuel Bendett, an advisor to Virginia-based CNA focusing on Russian military technology. “Right now, anything that moves on the battlefield is seen and hit with a drone,” Bendett said.

Desperate to fill a firepower gap inflicted on Ukrainian brigades by Russia-friendly Republicans in the U.S. Congress who blocked U.S. aid to Ukraine starting in October, Kyiv has empowered a network of hundreds of small workshops to build at least 50,000 two-pound FPV drones a month. Brigades fit each FPV with a grenade- or rocket-warhead and send the drone hurtling toward Russian troops potentially miles away.

Badly-made Russian radio-jammers mostly are powerless to stop the Ukrainian FPVs. Ukraine’s own jammers are more successful at grounding badly-made Russian FPVs, thus giving Ukraine an enduring—and growing—FPV edge. One that allows artillery-starved Ukrainian brigades to continue holding off massive Russian ground assaults, include one recent tank assault that may have been the biggest of Russia’s 25-month wider war on Ukraine.

The tiny, buzzing FPVs kill infantry and destroy manned and unmanned vehicles with equal callousness. “This is ... a consideration for developing ground systems,” Bendett said. Cage-like anti-drone armor can help to protect manned vehicles. Unmanned vehicles might require similar protection.

Read the full story and more from Forbes.


  • Samuel Bendett

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Technology and National Security Program

    Samuel Bendett is an Adviser with CNA Strategy, Policy, Plans and Programs Center (SP3), where he is a member of the Russia Studies Program. His work involves research on the ...