TechRussian soldier vs. Ukrainian FPV drone ends in a surprising explosion

Russian soldier vs. Ukrainian FPV drone ends in a surprising explosion

A Russian soldier hitting a Russian FPV drone with a stick.
A Russian soldier hitting a Russian FPV drone with a stick.
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5:16 AM EDT, June 2, 2024, updated: 2:09 AM EDT, June 3, 2024

The war in Ukraine is filled with bizarre situations reminiscent of video games or action movies. One such instance involves a Russian soldier attempting to take down a damaged FPV drone with a stick. We'll explain why this led to an explosion.

A fascinating video has surfaced online showing a Russian soldier trying to bring down a Ukrainian FPV drone using a stick. He succeeded on the third strike, causing it to detonate.

This is not an isolated incident. Another Russian soldier recently attempted to eliminate a drone using an unlocked RPG-7 anti-tank grenade launcher.

FPV drones - a simple yet effective weapon that is quite difficult to defend against

FPV drones have become crucial tools for Ukrainians, helping offset equipment shortages such as anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) or artillery systems.

Often, these drones are stripped-down commercial models like the DJI Mavic or DIY constructions based on readily available parts. Building these drones requires just a frame, electric motors with rotors, a control system, a camera, and a battery.

Explosive payloads are then attached to these drones using duct tape or zip ties. These often include stripped-down PG-7VL anti-tank grenades from RPG-7 launchers, bomblets from cluster munitions or bombs, or hand grenades. Interestingly, the detonator commonly consists of two wires that, when they make contact, complete an electrical circuit and trigger an explosion. In the discussed incident, the Russian soldier likely short-circuited the wires with the third strike of the stick.

FPV drones are a significant threat for both Russian and Ukrainian soldiers because they are tough to defend against. Theoretically, the best defense is electronic warfare systems like the Silok-01 system, but these need to be widespread, which is challenging. Furthermore, there’s no guarantee that the opponent won't adapt their drones to the jammer's frequency range, rendering the systems ineffective.

In such cases, the most effective method remains physical elimination. Improvised methods involve using smoothbore shotguns with an effective range of around 100-130 feet. Meanwhile, professional systems may include modules like the SMASH modules from the Israeli company Smart Shooter.

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