Ukrainian drones that were the focus of attention throughout the ongoing conflict with Russia have begun to disintegrate as the Kremlin has strengthened its defenses and increased electronic warfare, according to Business Insider.
Russia's multi-pronged assault on Ukraine's territory in February this year was unlikely to be channeled via uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones.
The US government provided Switchblade drones as part of its military supply to Ukraine, according to Business Insider. Additionally, Ukraine's aerospace industry provided hundreds of drones to the cause.
The tide has shifted.
An alleged Ukrainian kamikaze drone reportedly attacked an oil refinery on the Russian border last week. At the time, it appeared that Ukraine was now planning to engage in the offensive. Russian troops may have driven Russian troops away from Kyiv's capital, nevertheless, their strengths appear to have merged.
Experts said in an interview with Business Insider that Russia may have learned from the humiliation it received for attacking weapons and has implemented measures to counter the drones. These include early warning systems to spot the drones and electronic warfare systems to disrupt or block their communication.
Russia was slow to set up its air defenses in the early months of the attack, but has managed to put them to work together in recent times, resulting in a combined arms operation. Instead of dispersed attack units, Russian forces are now working together with armor, infantry, recon, air defense, and engineers, according to an expert.
It's also helpful that Russian air defense is mostly made up of short and medium-range missiles, which work very well for drones that fly slowly and at low altitudes.
What does it mean for Ukraine's strategy?
Back in May, we also reported that Russia was testing a novel laser weapons against Ukrainian drones, which Ukrainian officials had laughed off. However, Ukraine's highly effective strategy appears to have splintered off in just a month.
Ukrainian forces have now rejected US proposals for General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle drones, which costing about $10 million each, because they fear they will be shot down by now superior Russian air defense on their very first mission. Instead, Ukraine is seeking additional fighter jets from its Western partners.
Russian drones continue to fly in the air for a wide range of purposes, bolstering Russia's ability to see Ukraine's activity from the sky and better plan its strikes.