Year One of Ukraine’s War: The first full-scale drone war

Year One of Ukraine’s War: The first full-scale drone war

Drones and C-UAS solutions have significantly changed how war is fought, and their impact on the future of warfare is far-reaching.

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine is not just any ordinary war. It is now being called “the first full-scale drone war” in modern history due to the widespread use of drones in military operations. Drones have significantly changed how war is fought, and their impact on the future of warfare is far-reaching.

The conflict in Ukraine represents a turning point in modern warfare as it marks the first long-term, sustained conflict where drones play a crucial role in combined operations on both sides. UAVs have greatly increased the efficiency and effectiveness of military operations through reconnaissance, surveillance, and targeting.

Both sides have increasingly relied on C-UAS to mitigate the threat of enemy drones. Various counter-drone solutions have been deployed, including jamming and spoofing technologies, nets, and anti-drone weapons. Ukraine and Russia have developed indigenous counter-drone systems to enhance their ability to defend against enemy drones. Despite these efforts, drone technology continues to advance, making it difficult for either side to neutralise the threat completely. Nevertheless, counter-drone solutions remain an important aspect of modern warfare and will continue to play a significant role in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

Recently, the Minister of Digital Transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, announced that Ukraine has strengthened its defences against drone-based attacks after receiving six C-UAS to counter the Iranian-made Shahed drones deployed by Russia. Adding these C-UAS to the country’s arsenal shows Ukraine’s desire to enhance security against drone threats.

Fortem DroneHunter F700s C-UAS Drone Interceptors were delivered to Kyiv, capable of neutralising drones weighing up to 55 kilograms. The minister added that the system comes with radars and jammers that help detect and block targets.

The Pentagon announced earlier this month that it would send radars, C-UAS systems, air defence units, and more to Ukraine as part of its latest aid package. According to the statement, the package includes an authorisation for a presidential drawdown of security assistance worth up to $425 million and $1.75 billion in Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative funds.

The Canadian Army recently announced its plans to acquire a counter-drone system for Operation Reassurance, the Canadian Forces mission in Eastern Europe. The army has classified this purchase as an Urgent Operational Requirement, the same process used during the Afghanistan war to obtain necessary gear quickly. The counter-drone system will be mobile and designed to deal with mini and small drones, ensuring freedom of action for the Canadian Forces members deployed on the mission. With approximately 1,400 Canadian Forces members involved in Operation Reassurance, this is Canada’s largest international military operation, with around 700 members stationed in Latvia. The acquisition of the counter-drone system aims at providing added security and protection to the Canadian Forces personnel as they carry out their duties.

As part of its efforts to combat drones, Ukraine has received support from another country: Lithuania has delivered 36 Bofors L-70 anti-aircraft weapons. The weapons will aid in the fight against the drones that Moscow is using to attack Ukraine’s critical infrastructure. The Bofors L-70 anti-aircraft weapons are highly effective against low-flying aircraft and drones, making them a valuable asset in Ukraine’s defence arsenal.

Furthermore, the conflict has highlighted the critical importance of ground-to-air defence for the French military. Stéphane Mille, the Chief of Staff of the French Air & Space Force, has emphasised that this has placed ground-to-air defence back at the centre of their strategic planning. The General went on to mention that the fight against drones, especially in preparation for the Paris Olympic Games next year, will be a primary focus for years to come. Recent events in Ukraine have demonstrated the need for anti-drone systems, and the French military intends to invest in these systems to maintain their ground-to-air defence capabilities.

The Ukrainian war has brought C-UAS to the world’s attention. The conflict has highlighted the significant impact that UAVs can have on military operations and the safety of civilians and a growing recognition of the need for effective C-UAS measures to mitigate the threat posed by UAVs. As a result, C-UAS technology investment has increased, and countries worldwide are now prioritising the development of systems that can detect, track, and neutralise hostile UAVs. The Ukrainian war has been a wake-up call for the world to take the threat of UAVs seriously and act to protect against them.


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