“Hopeless ‘kamikaze’ drones show Vladimir Putin’s war machine is floundering”

Iranian-made weapons easily gunned down by Ukrainian air defence systems in another sign of Russia’s weakening offensive

“Scores of Iranian-made “kamikaze” drones launched into Ukraine by Russia have been gunned down by the country’s air defence systems, in a further sign of Vladimir Putin’s weakening war machine.

Some 37 Shahed-136 drones made up Russia’s long-range blitz on city centres across Ukraine on Monday, but many were destroyed before hitting their targets.

Fears that the new weapons could turn the war in Russia’s favour have failed to come true in recent weeks.

Running desperately short of long-range precision weaponry and its own drone programme, Moscow leant on one of its remaining global allies, Iran, to do a deal on securing a supply of the weapons.

But the failing drones have proved largely ineffective, immobile, easily detectable and unable to select and destroy sensitive military targets.

According to Ukraine’s intelligence services, Russia has ordered 2,400 of the drones, which can loiter over targets for hours before launching suicide strikes.

Comment: And we feared these Muscovite clowns? pl

Hopeless ‘kamikaze’ drones show Vladimir Putin’s war machine is floundering (telegraph.co.uk)

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12 Responses to “Hopeless ‘kamikaze’ drones show Vladimir Putin’s war machine is floundering”

  1. Whitewall says:

    Maybe the West has been conditioned by the media and Hollywood to fear the “Mad Ivan” fiction. He is dangerous and unstable, but not ten feet tall and dripping blood from his fangs.

  2. Eliot says:

    Col. Lang,

    I don’t believe the Telegraph. I don’t believe this is true.

    One, the videos of the damage, and of drones hitting their targets. Two, the absence of videos showing drones being destroyed. Three, the urgent push from Kiev for western air defense systems.

    This is FUD,

    – Eliot

  3. Leith says:

    Putin is going to need UAVs with bigger warheads than the Shahed. And he would need to launch them in larger swarms to overwhelm air defenses.

    He needs something like was used three(?) years ago on the Saudi oil facilities in Abaqaiq by the Houthis. Or even better, get updated versions. The Saudis did pay attention after that and started taking better defensive measures. There have still been some Houthi UAV success against KSA and UAE, but they got a lot better at interceptions last year.

    • Leith says:

      Abqaiq I should have said and NOT Abaqaiq. UAV and cruise missile damage to the Saudi-Aramco oil processing facilities there cut KSA oil output by 50%. September 2019 it was.

  4. Pat Lang says:

    The 136 goes 115 MPH. Should be an easy shoot down.

    • Leith says:

      Ukrainians captured an unexploded one that had just minimum crash damage. Engineers are all over it and are finding weaknesses in the electronics and software to be exploited by EW.

  5. Barbara Ann says:


    About these Geran(ium) drones I had an idea, bear with me as this doesn’t happen very often: A friend once showed me a smartphone app which identifies overflying commercial aircraft. You just point the phone camera at it and the GPS, tilt angle sensors and recorded flight plans/radar plots do the rest. Very clever. You shared details of the Ukies’ artillery coordination app, so how about an app for drone tracking to aid AD? Here is how it would work:

    Ukies everywhere, but particularly in the areas near the front lines/border where the drones are launched have the app on their phones. When they see/hear one they point their phone at it and track it for as long as possible with their camera. The app uses their position and tilt angle sensors to approximate the drone’s flight vector. The more people tracking it the better the accuracy. The app then predicts the flight path and alerts AD units along it. Given their slow speed AD units may have up to a couple of hours to prepare fire in a known direction and at an approximate time. Of course if anyone tracks the same drone nearer to the target the app would update the ETA & estimated flight path.

    AD can of course be anyone with a rifle along the predicted flight path, but obviously proper AD units with the right weapons would be better.

    • Fred says:

      Barbara Ann,

      A young kid by the airfield makes a cell call and holds up the phone, on the other end a man listens, then orders that the beacons of Amon Din be lit. Sorry, the beacons of Mogadishu, Mohamed Aidid calls fo aid! It’s a pretty low tech early warning system. The flight times and ranges of the various drones might make the usefulness low, but I’m sure something like your idea will be in place soon.

    • TTG says:

      Barbara Ann,

      Good idea. Hope it already occurred to some of Ukrainian MOD techno-geeks. I found an article describing some of these apps. Seems most if not all rely on existing flight databases. This drone app would have to work in the opposite direction by creating the target database from smartphone spottings as you describe. Sounds doable to me. There’s an army of engineers out there who could probably code this up. Wish I could, but my coding skills are decades out of date.

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