‘Shark’ Drones Team Up With HIMARS To Wipe Out 5 Russian Buk Systems: Video


A Ukrainian serviceman of an air reconnaissance squad of the 45th Brigade prepares to launch a Leleka reconnaissance UAV on a position in Donetsk region on June 27, 2023. New footage appears to show Ukrainian “Shark” reconnaissance drones in action as Kyiv attacked several Russian air defense systems.GENYA SAVILOV/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

New footage appears to show Ukrainian “Shark” drones in action as Kyiv attacked several Russian air defense systems with HIMARS in the fiercely contested Zaporizhzhia region, where Ukraine is concentrating much of its counteroffensive efforts.

Ukraine used the Shark drones to carry out reconnaissance, before striking five Russian “Buk” surface-to-air missile systems in the Moscow-controlled region with HIMARS missiles, eastern European news outlet NEXTA reported.

HIMARS have been used extensively by Ukrainian forces to target Russian positions and assets since the U.S. delivered the multiple-rocket launchers in June 2022.

Media reports have suggested Ukraine has frequently used Shark drones for aerial reconnaissance in Zaporizhzhia, where Kyiv has said its forces are now past Russia’s first line of meticulously prepared defenses.

It is not clear which type of Buk system was taken out in the apparent Ukrainian HIMARS strike, and Newsweek cannot independently verify the timing or location of where the clip was recorded. The Russian Defense Ministry has been contacted for comment via email.

The Shark drones are medium-range unmanned surface vehicles, produced by Ukrainian company Ukrspecsystems, and are crafted to take on the appearance of their namesakes. The drones can last up to four hours at a time, with a communication range of up to 80 kilometers, or 50 miles, according to the manufacturer. They can reach a maximum speed of 130 kilometers an hour, or just over 80 miles per hour.

The Sharks produced specifically for the military are “highly resistant” to electronic warfare attacks and jamming attempts, meaning the drone will “continue to operate and fulfil its mission, providing valuable intelligence” despite countermeasures, Ukrspecsystems has said of the uncrewed system.

Reconnaissance drones such as the Shark help Ukraine’s forces identify where to target artillery and missile strikes. In mid-June, Kyiv’s military intelligence agency said the Sharks, kitted out with full high-definition cameras, were particularly useful for HIMARS targeting.

Ukraine’s marines have previously shared footage of Kyiv’s forces using Shark drones to track down Russia’s Buk-M2 anti-aircraft missile systems. “After identifying the target, the enemy’s expensive equipment was destroyed by fellow gunners,” Ukraine’s 36th Separate Marine Infantry Brigade said of one attack in a post to social media in mid-July.

“Ukraine is on its way to become a world leader in drones production,” Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s vice prime minister in charge of Kyiv’s rapid unmanned vehicle production, told Newsweek in early August. “I am sure the Ukrainian experience of drone usage in this war will be studied by other countries in the future,” Fedorov added.

Ukraine primarily focused on reconnaissance drones before Russia’s invasion in February 2022, Fedorov said, but Kyiv has now expanded into first-person-view drones, as well as one-way unmanned aerial vehicles and naval drones, which Kyiv has repeatedly used against Russian forces in the annexed Crimean peninsula.



  1. “The Sharks produced specifically for the military are “highly resistant” to electronic warfare attacks and jamming attempts…”

    This is an extremely important aspect for drones in a combat environment. Ukrainian forces can achieve a lot with these. I just hope that none will fall into the hands of the roaches.

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