This is intended for people interested in the subject of military guns and their ammunition, with emphasis on automatic weapons.
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Schnuersi mentioned SkyRanger 30 recently. After watchingb a video saying that in UA both sides are moving to giving individual gun crews their own drones, I am beginning to wonder just how many of these one would have to seed any formation with? 1 per platoon?
I am beginning to wonder just how many of these one would have to seed any formation with? 1 per platoon?
IMHO this approach might have worked in the past. Now we need to look at the problem holistic. The defense against drones needs to be layered just like air defense.
It seems to become imparative that any frontline AFV maybe really any AFV and lots of logistics vehicle are capable of defending itself against drone attacks.
The main approach to the drone problem seems to be to try and detect the presense of drones, triangulate the position of the operator or at least the transmitting station for the guidance signal and engage this either by an indirect fire strike or a drone. In addition to this full scale ECM which includes the jamming of satelite navigation. What gets trough these first layers needs to be intercepted by area defense systems like Sky Ranger and what gets past these is engaged by the point defense systems of the attacked unit/vehicle.
Things like early warning drones which might operate passive or active could be usefull.
IMHO its of the uttmost importance to try and hit the drone operators. Even if only a transmitter is knocked out it will reduce their effectiveness conciderable.
Just trying to use one layer to intercept drones once they are operating is not sufficent anymore. This approach is to passive, to defensive and thus to easy to bypass.
The commercial drones like are stuff we see today bacause its all bought on aliexpress by both sides but even these can be secured somewhat while purpose made drones have multiple chanels and are far better protected against interception and location of signals. Jamming is in my oppinion least succesful counter , you for all intents an purposes need to shot down drones to deal with them.
I am distributing Ghost Dragon drones locally and these non civilian drones have either dual channels or 6 channel frequency hopping and also silent modes where they don't transmit anything till 'target' is found so detecting operators is much harder as well as jamming, plus we also have an option where these small drones can be conroled from anywhere in the world , so drone operator can be on another continent.
Slightly more advanced users can tune their drones and with help of a firmware patch make even these DJI to be a bit less leaky in terms of info they are transmiting.
Here you see accurate artillery fire practically seconds after drone lands. that is why they tend to fly the drones couple hundert meters from the operator as drones GPS data is not secure.
That is why there are these instructions for use used by both sides , here is original Russian leaflet , exact same leaflet is made by Ukrainan just collored. some interesting tidbits for work with commercial drones
Machine translation of the first leaflet:
1.Decide on a point of INTEREST
2 FIND A POSITION FOR THE PILOT WITH DIRECT VISIBILITY OF THE POINT OF INTEREST
CONSIDERING THE FLIGHT HEIGHT OF 250-450 METERS,AVAILABILITY OF SHELTER).240-450M 150-200M
3.FIND A SAFE PLACE FOR TAKEOFF AND LANDING SKELELELELNO
(50-200 meters and PILOT POINT SELECTION, DIRECT VISION FOR THE PILOT, THERE SHOULD NOT BE COLORED ROOFS, TOWERS.TEMPLE ETC.
4 ON MAP FIND THE POSITION
5.CLEAR SD CARD AND COPTER MEMORY
6.WARN EW TEAM ABOUT FLIGHT
7.Pilot ON PILOT STATION
8 . post pl /smartphone set up the control to conceal signal
9. The assistant CARRIES COPTER TO THE TAKEOFF POINT WITH BATTERIES AND TURN ON THE DRON ONLY AT THE TAKEOFF POINT).
10. Turn on the remote control with a connected TABLET / SMARTPHONE
11. unfold the the COPTER beams
12 INSERT BATTERY FLIGHT INSTRUCTION
13 TURN ON THE DRON. PUT ON A LEVEL SURFACE The pilot takes off.
14 UNT TAKEOFF AFTER THIS IMMEDIATELY Notify when ready
1.RAISE THE DEVICE TO A HEIGHT OF 250 METERS
2 ALWAYS LISTEN TO THE NOISE OF THE PROPELLERS. PAY ATTENTION THAT THE COPTER MAKES MUCH MORE NOISE WHILE MOVING. ESPECIALLY IN 'SPORT' MODE.
3CONTINUE CLIMBING up to 350 METERS POINTING THE DRONE TO THE POINT OF INTEREST CAREFULLY MONITOR THE SIGNAL LEVEL. ADJUSTposition TO KEEPMAXIMUM SIGNAL LEVEL.350M
5MONITORING THE FLIGHT SPEED, KNOWING THE NORMAL FLIGHT SPEED IN CALL, IT IS EASY TO DEFINE HEADWIND OR TAILWIND.WHEN THE WIND IS TAILOR, BE AWARE THAT THE RETURN
MAY USE THE ENTIRE BATTERY OF THE COPTER MAY BE LOST
6HAVE ENOUGH CAPACITYTO RETURN THE DRONE.
1 PRESS THE RETURN HOME BUTTONAND CONFIRM 1KM AT A DISTANCE OF 1KM, TAKE CONTROL OF THE COPTER
3 ON THE APPROACH, WHEN SOUND MASKING IS NO LONGER IMPORTANT, YOU CAN START APPROXIMATION AND Descent SIMULTANEOUSLY, LANDING IN A PLANE), up toan altitude of 250 m.FURTHER Perform a
VISUAL APPROACH up to a height of 20 m.250M THEN LOWER THE CAMERA AT AN ANGLE OF 90° AND CHOOSE A LEVEL AREA. INVERY SMOOTH MOVEMENTS WHEN IT IS
VISUALLY CLEAR TO LANDING, PULL THELEFT STICK FULLY DOWN AND LAND.
5 The assistant must GET TO THE COPTER AS soon aspossible. 6. Turn off thedrone 7.IMMEDIATELY DisconnectBATTERY
Mr. T (MrT4) said:
ither dual channels or 6 channel frequency hopping and also silent modes where they don't transmit anything till 'target' is found so detecting operators is much harder as vell as jamming,
Broad band jamming renders all kinds of radio communication useless in the jammed frequency bands. Burst transmission and frequency hopping doesn't help. It only could if you would hop to a non jammed band... but its call broad band for a reason.
Back in the day during training excercises we sometimes had to work under full electronic warfare conditions. It is basically back to WW1 conditions. All kinds of radio does not work. Directed microwave can get through but that is about it. Calling in a fire mission is also allmost impossible under such conditions. Unless of course you fall back to wires, flag or light signals or pidgeons.
I do agree that the current approch: we start to jam once we detect a drone is not really feasible. Since if a drone is detected why not shoot it down immediatly.
I suspect the ancient position of "runner" is going to be resurrected in a lot of future conflicts.
Detection is the biggest hurdle, for that you're looking at using the radars from the active protection systems when you can transmit, along with passive staring imaging infrared sensors potentially used as part of a MAWS setup. The latter will probably be the only thing habitually on, since it's passive. Upon detection of a drone or missile the MMW radar can be turned on if necessary if it's an incoming ATGM, but may not be necessary at all for the drone.
Soft kill is next. Aside from directional jammers on RWS systems (or potentially eminating from the APS radar arrays), commercial drones will be easiest to jam as they operate on 2.4/5.8 but malicious users will adapt by building rigs that run off frequencies so broadband jamming will be required, which can deny control links (won't stop autonomous flights) and video links. This will help prevent real time intel gathering which is a big part of the threat (vectoring in artillery or dropping munitions themselves) but won't prevent preplanned flights and delayed intel (recovering a memory card and reviewing the info) so hard kill is also necessary.
Cannons will work and should be an option but frankly... I think the future for drone defense for armored fighting vehicles is other drones. Stick them in a dispenser on a turret bustle much like a chaff/flare dispenser on aircraft. Autonomous interception (handoff from AFV IIR or MMW sensors to drone IIR sensor), warhead equivalent to a 40mm grenade, a 5x5 setup would yield 25 of the critters, a platoon would have 100. Racing drones are silly fast, and in the shield/sword evolution interceptor drones will likely always be faster than enemy recon drones because you don't need a lot of endurance to chase down a drone discovered in your area, likely less than a minute, so you can trade that for speed. A live view operator will not have the situational awareness to evade because they're looking through a soda straw, nor will drones running autonomous flight plans evade. This is the simplest counter that requires disproportionate evolution to neutralize, therefore in this case it favors the defender which is rare as proliferation of small and cheap drones have otherwise disrupted traditional war-fighting mentality