In a recent interview, Ukraine president Zelensky said that Turkish attack drones “Bayraktar” do not play a decisive role in the war with Russia.
Ukrainian president Zelensky said that Turkish attack drones “Bayraktar TB2” do not play a decisive role in the war with Russia.
“With all due respect, those or other drones can help, but do not affect the result. Because there is a history of missiles, artillery, air defense” said by Zelensky.
However, there are many video footages available on the internet showing the Turkish combat drone Bayraktar TB2 successfully striking the Russian army. Given the heavy bombardment of Ukrainian towns, it is almost impossible to know how frequently and successfully Ukraine has utilised its Turkish drones. But many experts believed most of videos are from single attack but with different angles.
Ukrainian Bayraktar TB2 drone shot down near Mariupol pic.twitter.com/INnMlZAC1f
— Military Advisor (@miladvisor) February 24, 2022
The Bayraktar TB2 drone, with a wingspan of 12 meters (472 inches) and equipped to carry four laser-guided bombs, has disabled multiple launch rocket systems as well as taken out columns of armored tanks and personnel transporters from the air, seemingly with impunity. A Bayraktar TB2 costs around $5 million.
This is not the first time TB2 UAV has not performed well on the battlefield, The Bayraktar was used two years ago in Libya by the Government of National Accord in the west and proved successful in conducting precision strikes, but unsuccessful when providing close-air support for ground movements, as the system was susceptible to air defense. According to reports Russian Pantsir-S air defense systems destroyed at least 47 Turkish Bayraktar TB2 attack drones in Libya.
Earlier ukraine has claimed its drones have destroyed several hundred Russian armored vehicles. That number seems high, given the limited size of Ukraine’s drone arsenal prior to the invasion. If Ukraine possessed a large and formidable drone force, it is unlikely that the Russians would send in a 40-mile-long armored convoy.
Ukraine has had success against Russian troops inside its border using the 20 or so Turkish Bayraktar drones it purchased several years ago. But this is partially due to the inability of Russian tanks to move quickly through mud. In a few weeks, when the weather changes and the ground hardens in Ukraine, we may see a more mobile Russian advance. Russia will no doubt continue to aim airstrikes at airfields used by Ukrainian forces to launch drones.
For Ukraine, its drone arsenal will likely continue to be effective in protecting its forward line of troops, but ineffective over territory Russia grabs. If Ukraine is put into a position of having to take back territory, it will need longer-range attack drones with satellite communications.