October 20, 2022

U.S. Has Viewed Wreckage of Kamikaze Drones Russia Used in Ukraine

Source: The Washington Post

Journalists: Dan Lamothe, Karen DeYoung, Shane Harris, Alex Horton

The drones pose a significant problem, analysts say. Many defensive systems capable of defeating them are costly, designed mostly for bigger threats like jets and helicopters, and take months or years to produce, forcing military planners to prioritize sites deemed most vulnerable.

While Ukrainian air defenses have shown some success against the drones, even a few slipping through can cause havoc, said Samuel Bendett, an expert on the Russian military at CNA, a research group. “It’s a demonstration of Russian capability, and now they have cheap plentiful weapons that can constantly remind Ukrainians that their skies are not 100 percent safe,” he said. “It’s a very powerful psychological weapon.”

Russia’s performance with the Shaheds in Ukraine “suggests an evolution,” Bendett said. “They probably started with a basic concept the Houthis and the Iranians used themselves and built on it to possibly overwhelm Ukrainian air defenses, to fly around them, to circumnavigate them, in one way or another.”

Read the full story and more from The Washington Post.


  • 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 ...