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Bayraktars Are Falling! Turkey’s ‘Much-Hyped’ TB2 Drones Are Losing Steam Against Russian Missiles As Ukraine Limits Their Usage

avenuepark57

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There are signs that the hype around Turkish TB-2 Bayraktar drones’ lethality is being busted. Cracks have emerged in the Ukrainian military over continuing their use after improved Russian air defenses shot down scores of Bayraktar drones.

It manifests in the reluctance to use the American-made $10 million worth of Gray Eagle strike drones against “layered” and “massive” air defenses comprising S-300, Buk, Tor-M2, and Panstir air defense systems.

These are controlled by Russia’s Western Military District bordering eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region, where the fight has now moved.

A Foreign Policy report said differences had emerged between frontline troops, airmen, and the senior Ukrainian General Staff, where the latter continues to push for heavy reliance on the drones.

The Bayraktar TB2 drone had been effective against Russian armored and logistics columns in the initial days of the war before beginning to get rapidly shot down, forcing the Ukrainians to reduce their employment to 20 to 30 sorties a day.

Moreover, their success was merely tactical. Russia achieved most of its strategic and tactical aims, the biggest one being the fall of Mariupol, where nearly 2,000 Azov Brigade fighters surrendered in mid-May
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In the east in Donbas, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky himself admitted that the Ukrainian Armed Forces were losing “100 soldiers each day.” Russia is making slow, grinding yet incremental progress and is on the verge of entirely securing the breakaway Peoples’ Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk

Interestingly, US Pentagon officials are reluctant to sell the MQ-1c Gray Eagle drones to Ukraine, fearing Russia might access the sensitive technologies if they are shot down. An option to switch the sensitive electronics for less advanced ones would degrade their capabilities.

More Pilots, Fewer Jets

Saying they have “more pilots than jets” now, Ukrainian military officials say they need legacy platforms like F-15 and F-16 jets to perform more complex missions, possibly taking the fight into Russia. Their air force has been engaged in primarily close air support (CAS) missions.

However, the risks associated with acquiring conventional multirole fighter aircraft are two. Directly throwing them into the fray without adequate training to understand each plane’s flight characteristics and advantages and develop tactics takes several months.

This is after the lengthy Congressional procedure to allow their sale, followed by the commercial modalities and the planes’ eventual arrival, which takes years. Worse Ukrainian pilots and ground crews are used to Soviet-era planes with radically different piloting, design, control, and maintenance philosophies.

Secondly, President Joe Biden had declined the sale of the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) component of the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) to prevent Ukraine from using it to strike inside Russia and escalating the conflict.

It is thus unlikely he might support even bigger and more destructive platforms like jets.

Bayraktar TB2 Drones

But this also draws attention to the hype around Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAV), which are vulnerable to a peer adversary commanding a conventional army.

The TB-2 shot to fame in the September 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war, where videos show the drones destroying scores of Armenian artillery, armor, bunkers, and air defense systems.

Tactical successes, nevertheless, their role in the overall Azerbaijani victory was also greatly exaggerated, with many of the battlefield victories achieved by long-range fires and artillery – apparently something also heavily employed by Russia to devastating effect in Ukraine.

In the initial days of the war, Russia fired several dozen Kalibr cruise missiles inside Ukraine, softening military and industrial targets that degraded Kyiv’s defense manufacturing capability.

The ‘artillery first’ army has successfully employed its unorthodox doctrine of executing its ground operations around gun and rocket artillery, where infantry, armored and mechanized forces first engage and degrade enemy targets before calling in strikes to mop up what is left.

Neither can loitering munitions turn the tide in a war like this, primarily because they will be limited in numbers when the UAF run out of them at some point. At the same time, Russia’s defense industry can rapidly produce the lost platforms.

Their manner of a ‘long war’ and not looking for quick, decisive victories allows them the time to keep fighting until their strategic aims are achieved. It is different; loitering munitions themselves can’t always be called drones.

AeroVironment, the US manufacturer of the Switchblade systems, calls it a “loitering missile.”

And with Ukraine admittedly having almost lost all its Soviet-era artillery, ammunition, and armor, Russia can rely on infantry and long-range artillery to engage them, limiting the use of their tanks and mechanized infantry.

It would provide fewer targets for drones and loitering munitions, which have limited use against ground troops, as they are armed to destroy heavier targets.

New weapons and concepts have given modern warfare a new face but they have proven to be mere disruptors, with certain traditional practices remaining relevant. It doesn’t mean that drones are useless, but it clearly indicates that they remain highly vulnerable to surface-to-air missiles.
 

MH.Yang

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Russia is not Armenia. Those countries that have a complete combat system must have self-defense weapons in their armor clusters.
 

Raj-Hindustani

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Don't be scared. As long as you don't attack Pakistan, your neighbors aren't gonna test them on you.

Scared? Are you kidding...

India is more focused on the air defense.... It is on the way to protect with multi-layer defense missile systems.

Pakistan has almost nothing except a few defense systems.. Pakistan will always be the more losing side if India will fire the missiles and use UAVs..
 
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Huffal

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Lots of coping going on in this thread.

TB2s have been getting shot down by Russian IADs, but the TB2s have been destroying a lot of Russian military equipment, including several SAM systems.

A drone is a drone. They are ultimately supposed to be expendable.
 

Bengal71

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Nothing surprising and doesn't count towards any negative of the Bayraktar. Drones of this category are slow, not stealth and don't have any defensive mechanism. Drones of this category made by any country will fall given the capability of the adversary.
 

jhungary

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A drone is a drone. They are ultimately supposed to be expendable.
This is probably the most sensible post in this entire topic.

Drone are supposed to be expendable, you use it so your people won't be killed, and you use it so you don't risk your 80 millions F-16 instead using a 5 millions TB-2 drone.

Not going to say they are cheap, because they are not, but compare the risk vs cost, this is the most bang for your buck.
 

dBSPL

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Lots of coping going on in this thread.

TB2s have been getting shot down by Russian IADs, but the TB2s have been destroying a lot of Russian military equipment, including several SAM systems.

A drone is a drone. They are ultimately supposed to be expendable.
It is $4-5 million tactical drone system. The ammunition it carries is likely in the range of 10,000-30,000 dollars. Only one successful sortie covers the entire cost of the system, including all operational costs if your comprare with enemy loss.

If we continue with the comparative example, the cost to the enemy force of a successful just 1 Pantsir team engagement is more than 10 Tb-2-like tactical drone systems. The deadly risk posed by the lost air defense system on other elements is a completely separate topic of discussion. Not to mention that while one party loses personnel, the other party only loses a vehicle.

The total number of vehicles neutralized by this(tb2) system is probably over 5000. If you compare this figure with classical CAS aircrafts or anti-armor choppers, you cant find any examples close to this on the basis of modern systems. Not just anti-armored engagements or assassination/point-attack missions; artillery behind the front, air defense systems, even logistics lines tens of kilometers behind, and even surface naval platforms as we saw in Ukraine-Russia war.

Of course, this killmarks and track record of operational success does not mean that a tactical drone alone will win wars. However, the impact of armed tactical drones on the modern battlefield is now an undeniable reality.

Of course, we understand why some of our friends here are constantly trying to overshadow the operational success of the TB-2 system. But what they fail to understand is the evolution of modern combat conditions. While they're trying to shitting some argues about TB-2, they can't see what's changed in the world. The subject of the subject is the concept of tactical armed drone, not just Tb-2s.


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These photos are from Djibouti state television in the morning, proudly showing tactical drones. I don't count the number of countries anymore, I think there are 30 countries in total. If you include Chinese systems in it, you can roughly multiply this number by two.

By gaining access to these systems, African countries began to have a historic opportunity to rid their countries of terrorism, more importantly, to get rid of the military assets of the traditional colonial countries of Europe. In other words, these systems have become an element that affects not only the tactical needs on the battlefield, but also the policies of countries geostrategically.
 

shayyman

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Idiotic Indian nonsense with 0% understanding of war zone realities.

It's war and it's a cheap weapon - cheaper than the ADS missile system shooting it down.

That is the entire purpose of a UCAV if you understand.

What do you expect anyway? 100% record? Well this ain't vedic tech.
 

Huffal

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Maximum attainable speed of naval brahmos is mach 3-4 and perform low skimming with greater speed i.e >>mach 3, can carry more warheads than any other anti-ship missiles

Brahmos travel much faster in its terminal stage

And with accuracy of “1m CEP”

After terminal phase, brahMos does split-S maneuver attack which makes it even more lethal......
Sir we understand you can copy and paste from the Indian defence forums, you did the same thing with your alt (punch2000), just as the last Indian users did on this forum.
 
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This is probably the most sensible post in this entire topic.

Drone are supposed to be expendable, you use it so your people won't be killed, and you use it so you don't risk your 80 millions F-16 instead using a 5 millions TB-2 drone.

Not going to say they are cheap, because they are not, but compare the risk vs cost, this is the most bang for your buck.

Drones and robots are being adopted to do away with Humans. No more job security for @jhungary and @gambit
 

vishwambhar

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Scared? Are you kidding...

India is more focus on the air defense.... It is on the way to protect with mutli layer defense missiles systems.

Pakistan has almost nothing expect a few defense system.. Pakistan will always have the more losing side if India will fire the missiles and use UAVs..

Now we are fully AKASH equipped country.... do you have any idea when our AAD & PAD system will ne active?

This is enough to explain that drones can win war against countries like Armenia..... it can not be a game changer against some serious military power.....
 

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