TechThe mystifying "Baba Yaga" drones in Avdiivka are nightmare for Russians

The mystifying "Baba Yaga" drones in Avdiivka are nightmare for Russians

Ukrainian soldier with the "Baba Yaga" drone.
Ukrainian soldier with the "Baba Yaga" drone.
Images source: © X (formerly Twitter) | Senior 🇫🇷 Старший француз
3:52 PM EST, November 20, 2023

Despite current developments, Russians are facing substantial losses in Avdiivka. A crucial component contributing to these losses in the Ukrainian's tactical arsenal is the "Baba Yaga" category of drones, which sow profound terror among the Russians. We delve into their distinguishing characteristics.

In Avdiivka, the Russians have already lost several hundred various types of vehicles and approximately 10,000 soldiers. In addition to artillery attacks, significant casualties are caused by Ukrainian drones due to their largely unrestricted operational capabilities in the region.

This is possible as Ukrainian experts and military drone pilots, including the Polish FlyEye, successfully pinpoint and annihilate Russian R-330Z Zhitel electronic warfare systems using artillery. This inhibits the use of considerably more abundant commercial drones.

Understanding the Russians' Fear-Inducing "Baba Yaga" Drones

In recent times, both Ukrainians and Russians have started equipping their tanks extensively with systems that disrupt frequencies used by commercial drones, reducing the effectiveness of makeshift kamikaze drones. However, it's essential to note that these jammers have a limited range, creating a safe "bubble" spanning only a few hundred feet at most.

This change renders FPV drones less effective, but for instance, a bombardment with anti-tank bomblets, PG-7VL grenades that can penetrate up to 19.6 inches of armor, TM-62 mines, or mortar shells from a distance of 328/656 feet (100/200 meters) remains a lethal threat if the pilot strikes accurately.

The most notable threat now comes from the larger drones, called "Baba Yaga," each carrying around 44 pounds of payload and flying at 656 - 1,312 feet (200 - 400 meters). Particularly hazardous are the night assaults conducted with commercial DJI Matrice RTK 300 drones fitted with thermal imaging cameras; these are widely procured under the "Army Drones" initiative.

Moreover, "Baba Yaga" drones are believed to employ Starlink terminals, increasing their resistance to interferences and offering a range of up to 12-19 miles (20-30 km) at lower altitudes. Apart from bombing, "Baba Yaga" drones serve a secondary purpose as aerial signal amplifiers for other smaller drones.

Ukrainians often deploy smaller drones from diverse directions to divert the Russians' focus from the incoming "Baba Yaga" drones carrying a significantly larger payload than mere grenades.

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