Valery Romanenko on the fight against Iranian drones
October 21, 2022
Translated from Ukrainian via Google
Iranian Shahed-136 kamikaze drones continue to attack the civilian and energy infrastructure of Ukraine . These drones are sneaky because they are small and fly at low altitude, making them difficult to spot. And although our air defense systems successfully shoot down most of the kamikaze drones that fly into our territory, to destroy them, we often have to use expensive missiles that are ten times more expensive than the drone itself. About how to fight with “martyrs” more effectively and cheaply and what is the purpose of their use by Russia, aviation expert VALERIE ROMANENKO shared his opinion on Apostrof TV.
In Ukraine, Iranian drones are shot down with R-27 missiles, which cost at least 200,000 dollars. This is ten times more than the cost of “shahid”. And I’m not talking about the cost of the Buk or S-300 air defense system. Why these rockets? Because cheaper short-range missiles are thermal, and they cannot target the piston engine of this drone.
The most important problem is their detection and organization of support. Why is it important to identify them? If we have two points, then we know the route of the entire drone. For example, we detected it when it crossed the front line, or the coastline, if it flew from the south, or the border of Ukraine, if it was launched from Belarus, and then someone reported over which village or city it flew – we already know exactly where it went is heading These drones are primitive in terms of their equipment, they fly in a straight line at the same height with a fixed route, and adjust it only by GPS.
One effective means of detecting these kamikaze drones is the British A-422 Blighter radars, which we have already received. One radar can detect up to 700 air and ground objects simultaneously at a distance of 10 m to 20 km, and also determine their type using artificial intelligence. When the drone is detected, there is a warning of means of destruction. If they are in the zone of damage of anti-aircraft systems, they are put on alert. If not, then the fighters rise.
How can they be destroyed more cheaply? Recently, a group of Ukrainian developers presented the Fowler interceptor drone project. It is three times cheaper than “shahid” drone with a simple guidance system. It is light, about one and a half kilograms, guided by the operator and can become a very cheap means of combating Iranian drones.
And all types of anti-aircraft missile systems, which include radar stations, can effectively operate on them. And also anti-aircraft artillery complexes, for example, ZSU-23-4.
Unfortunately, we cannot intercept the “shahid” and take him away from critical infrastructure facilities, because they have a special system that prevents interference with the management system. Even if there is an obstacle in its path that prevents the drone from receiving a satellite signal, the navigation system based on the laser gyroscope provides it with a straight flight, although the wind may blow it slightly off course. But as soon as the obstacle ceases to act, it navigates again by GPS, returns to its route and continues its flight.
To counter the “martyrs”, NATO promises to transfer special complexes to Ukraine. There are many such anti-drone systems, but they are effective only against quadcopters and light commercial drones. During the use of their kamikaze drones in combat, the Iranians have already identified typical methods of overcoming obstacle systems and they have already foreseen them on their latest Shahed-136.
The Russians use drones because it is a cheap way to attack infrastructure facilities on the territory of Ukraine. They have almost replaced the missiles with them, which run out of them, to hit targets both at the front and in the deep rear. Another goal of the Russians in using these drones is to create problems for our air defense, because we, especially at first, used expensive missiles, which we did not have enough of. We still use Soviet systems, they are running out of missiles, so in this way they want to exhaust our reserves.