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keesje
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Effectiveness of simple drones against tanks, targets, long term consequences

Thu Jun 09, 2022 9:57 am

Cheap, effective, expandable, easy to use. No longer just finding tanks, but destroying them.

3 Bombs (often dumb old reworked grenades, with 3D printed stabilizers) per simple self stabilizing drone.

Drop one, see if it misses, move the drone a few meters, hit. Not high tech but very accurate. Easily penetrating 200mm of steel.

Image

Ordered from Chinese consumer sites, modified in garages, easy to sue, taking out main battle tanks everywhere.

Over 10 yrs drones have been changing the battle field (ISIS, drug cartels). Built and operated by fanatic amateurs.

No doubt serious weapon manufacturers are jumping in now. To develop & protect against drones.

Are multi million Apaches, MBT's done?

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-new ... d-26860187

Image
R18, $10.000. Flies 40 minutes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidaxe/2 ... an-troops/
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Effectiveness of simple drones against tanks, targets, long term consequences

Fri Jun 10, 2022 8:08 pm

Also something akin to the Switchblade 600, both in a kamakazi model and a version that has a guided bomb. What I find amazing is the TB-2 drone is basically a Cessna tech wise, sure some get knocked down, but surprising how many get through. Probably better to send 10 $6,000 drones that 5 get shot down than one $ 1M drone that occasionally gets shot down - 150 drones for the price of 1.

Now to design the plane that can launch a 250 drone swarm with a 25 mile range.
 
BestIntellect
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Re: Effectiveness of simple drones against tanks, targets, long term consequences

Sat Jun 11, 2022 7:28 pm

You will likely see Apaches, attack helis become command nodes and even launchers for loitering munitions. The US Army is already testing concepts for launching drones from helicopters:

https://www.flightglobal.com/helicopter ... 86.article

Some sources claim Russians are launching loitering munitions from Mi-28N in Ukraine, but I'm not going to bother linking to them due to lack of certain credibility. Nonetheless the idea at least is there.

As for the MBT, if anything the war is proving the validity of MBTs. Looking at the Oryx blog if anything it's showing that it's the T-72 specifically that's obsolete, which is no surprise as it's not just an old tank, but a cheap tank to begin with. Roughly half of all T-80 losses were abandoned/captures and 2/3s of T-90s abandoned/captures, and roughly all T-80 type losses combined are equal to losses of T-72B alone (the second oldest, crappiest tank the Russians are using aside from T-72A, not counting T-64BV since most of those are Ukrainian captured stock passed down to glorified bloodthirsty volunteer militia). But we'll likely see significant changes and upgrades to MBTs from here on out. For starters a greater interest in all-round armor, as opposed to the "front or nothing" concept that's been tradition from just before WWII-since. We'll likely see greater development in composite armor to shore up side, and especially top and rear armor without trying to do so at the expense of increased weight. And of course active hard-kill defenses and likely organic drone jamming.

But that's hardly going to kill the MBT.
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: Effectiveness of simple drones against tanks, targets, long term consequences

Sat Jun 11, 2022 8:37 pm

BestIntellect wrote:
But that's hardly going to kill the MBT.


Yep. The MBT will be updated, maybe also with newer tactics. But the MBT is still the only thing that provides:

1. armor
2. mobility
3. firepower

There are already developments in computer sciences - neural networks that can detect the very faint noise of these drones, and locate them.

Maybe there will be drone detectors, and cheap, acoustically (or optically) guided anti-drone rockets.
 
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keesje
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Re: Effectiveness of simple drones against tanks, targets, long term consequences

Sat Jun 11, 2022 10:25 pm

Those drones seem very unadvanced. No guidance, no big launchers, skilled operators often 1st miss, move a few meters.

https://youtu.be/BxaG4YdsHTg

There are also many (cruel) youtubes showing small drones basically sniper like manhunting dropping small bombs..
 
johns624
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Re: Effectiveness of simple drones against tanks, targets, long term consequences

Sun Jun 12, 2022 12:51 am

Like a very popular Youtube host (Chieftain) said "The machinegun didn't make infantry obsolete so why would drones make tanks obsolete" or words to that effect.
 
mxaxai
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Re: Effectiveness of simple drones against tanks, targets, long term consequences

Sun Jun 12, 2022 9:16 am

Commercial drones are easily jammed as they usually use WiFi bands and aren't designed to evade jamming. GPS jammers can also help disorient the drone. Both are available commercially. I suspect that Russia, after the initial suprise, has looked at their options and started deploying some countermeasures around high-value targets.

Military drones are more robust but obviously come with a higher price tag. Switchblade kamikaze drones reportedly cost around $10,000, about 10 times more than a good commercial drone.

Personally, I suspect that we are just at the beginning of more intensivied combat UAV development, including its use in conventional warfare. There are many theoretical options that haven't made their way into serial production yet. But we will also see countermeasures, it's not the solution to all military problems.
 
BestIntellect
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Re: Effectiveness of simple drones against tanks, targets, long term consequences

Mon Jun 13, 2022 4:44 pm

JayinKitsap wrote:
Now to design the plane that can launch a 250 drone swarm with a 25 mile range.


"Gremlins" is seeking to do exactly that with "swarm" launches from a C-130 or similar cargo hauler: https://www.darpa.mil/program/gremlins
 
BestIntellect
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Re: Effectiveness of simple drones against tanks, targets, long term consequences

Mon Jun 13, 2022 5:27 pm

mxaxai wrote:
Commercial drones are easily jammed as they usually use WiFi bands and aren't designed to evade jamming. GPS jammers can also help disorient the drone. Both are available commercially. I suspect that Russia, after the initial suprise, has looked at their options and started deploying some countermeasures around high-value targets.


The Russians are definitely doing that. They're deploying more commercial and military-grade drone jammers as well as encouraging homebrewing-up jammers. They've also reportedly talked to their (nominal) Chinese allies, or at least manufacturers of commercial drones that are sympathetic to the invasion, and basically handed over coding and programming that, while not really shutting the drone off remotely (although I want to mention this because this is a possible real trick to counter commercial drones in war), it has allowed the Russians to track drones back to their operators and respond with artillery fire (which is why the Ukrainians are reportedly at least using Chinese commercial drones less and less). The flip side to that is that at least some Chinese companies have also supplied the Russians with commercial drones.

Many of the drone kills you see on YouTube are from much earlier in the war, although jammers aren't universal tech even in the US military, so frontline units are still likely to remain vulnerable to commercial drones for the duration of the war unless they can somehow magically homebrew their own jammers like what I had linked to above. And keep in mind directly dropping bombs isn't even the primary means drones are being used to kill enemy units: they still mostly serve as artillery spotters, and even very cheap commercial drones have cameras with sufficient resolution that they can simply hover well outside of jamming range.

Also, don't underestimate the value of "resource distraction" with drones. Even successfully shooting down a drone, especially a super-cheap consumer one, means potentially using up an Igla/Verna or a Strela-10 (with its relatively heavy warhead, no it's not just a Strela MANPADS slapped onto an MT-LB) or an Osa or even a Tor, which otherwise could've been used to shoot down a Ukrainian MiG, Frogfoot or Hind or even a more complex, actually armed drone like Bayraktar. Yes, you could argue that this matters less as Russia has tons of counter-air missiles, but the knockdown logistic effects are very real especially when you get to a smaller scale. A soldier uses up an Igla to shoot down one of those Mavic or whatever consumer-grade drones; ok, now that unit has to wait for a replacement Igla to make its way down an already stretched and abysmal supply chain. Or a soldier fires an Igla to shoot down a Mavic; ok, now you gotta toss the old tube away, go to the truck to grab a new tube, slam the battery onto that thing (on most Russian legacy MANPADS like Strela, Igla and Polish Piorun, the battery is the spherical, rubber-like "squeezable" object that sticks out from the bottom; the rubber sphere contains pressurized argon and/or other inert noble gasses that are essential to keeping the battery cool and otherwise preserving it; like the rest of the system itself it is one-time use and once the battery is plugged in and the internal seal of that pressurized sphere penetrated as a result, the usable life of that battery is less than an hour; only the absolute latest generation of MANPADS like Verna, which is still very rare, use solid-state batteries that get around this problem), be prepared to reaquire new targets - and then you no longer have to worry about anything anymore because now you're dead, because during that relatively long window it took for you to throw the used-up Igla away and grab a new one, a nearby Ukrainian Frogfoot flew over and bombed your whole unit dead.

At minimum the drone threat requires spreading a highly-mobile, tactical-level air defense network that's clearly spread out overly thin as it is. This is something the Ukrainians are well aware of, and this is why they haven't bothered to attack the Kerch Bridge; the bridge requires strategic-level air defense assets like S-400 all the way down to more Tors, Buks, Osas and Pantsirs that could otherwise be deployed to the front lines to directly engage Ukrainian air assets. If the Ukrainians somehow destroy it, it would free up all those assets to do so, for the sake of destroying one of many supply lines (as poor as those supply lines are in general). Not to mention it's a very structurally-hard target to kill anyway. The Russians are very well aware of this too, but it puts them in a hard Catch-22; if they do release those assets to the front lines, it gives the Ukrainians free access to at least strafe the bridge every time a truck convoy or a train passes over.

Military drones are more robust but obviously come with a higher price tag. Switchblade kamikaze drones reportedly cost around $10,000, about 10 times more than a good commercial drone.


I want to point out that in military terms, $10,000 is still very cheap and preferable to a manned aircraft, or even compared to Bayraktar which also in military terms is still pretty cheap. It's especially cheap when it's literally free to begin with, because a sympathetic government is giving you all the Switchblades it can in order to defeat the Russians free of charge.

Not to mention DARPA and other government agencies have very active programs to drive down the cost of loitering munitions, to the point where they'll likely cost practically the same as off-the-shelf consumer drones.
 
FGITD
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Re: Effectiveness of simple drones against tanks, targets, long term consequences

Mon Jun 13, 2022 8:29 pm

Drones no doubt are changing things, but it seems the Russian manner of using MBTs or for that matter any vehicle plays right into their own disadvantage.

Seems like the vast majority of these drone videos are of on a lone Russian tank wandering around on its own. No infantry support, no one else nearby…just a tank off on its own

As part of an actual assault force I’m not sure how effective these drones would be.
 
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keesje
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Re: Effectiveness of simple drones against tanks, targets, long term consequences

Wed Jun 22, 2022 12:08 pm

Because of the simple bomb dropping process, the tanks being hit are static. And drones have simple IR for night. Tanks can't move forever. There also a clip of an MTB first missed by a few meters, seeing the danger, quickly starting the engine & moving, just a second too late..

Some MTB's now have (often improvised) roofs to pre detonate anything coming from above...

Image
https://www.reddit.com/r/TankPorn/comme ... imea_with/

New design will probably have active protection against drones. https://i.imgur.com/uLkVopu.jpg
 
angad84
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Re: Effectiveness of simple drones against tanks, targets, long term consequences

Wed Jun 22, 2022 1:01 pm

keesje wrote:
Because of the simple bomb dropping process, the tanks being hit are static. And drones have simple IR for night. Tanks can't move forever. There also a clip of an MTB first missed by a few meters, seeing the danger, quickly starting the engine & moving, just a second too late..

Some MTB's now have (often improvised) roofs to pre detonate anything coming from above...

Image
https://www.reddit.com/r/TankPorn/comme ... imea_with/

New design will probably have active protection against drones. https://i.imgur.com/uLkVopu.jpg


Worth noting these "cope cages" don't work. If a bomb is big enough to take out a tank, it will take out a tank regardless of cage. The only thing they do is degrade RPG-style basic HEAT-AT rockets. Everything else will punch through or has a tandem charge.
 
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scbriml
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Re: Effectiveness of simple drones against tanks, targets, long term consequences

Wed Jun 22, 2022 7:58 pm

keesje wrote:
Because of the simple bomb dropping process, the tanks being hit are static. And drones have simple IR for night. Tanks can't move forever. There also a clip of an MTB first missed by a few meters, seeing the danger, quickly starting the engine & moving, just a second too late..

Some MTB's now have (often improvised) roofs to pre detonate anything coming from above...

Image
https://www.reddit.com/r/TankPorn/comme ... imea_with/

New design will probably have active protection against drones. https://i.imgur.com/uLkVopu.jpg


Those cages are useless, they certainly won’t stop an NLAW, Javelin or most ATGMs.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Effectiveness of simple drones against tanks, targets, long term consequences

Wed Jun 22, 2022 8:10 pm

Even worse, they can potentially block escape route if you do get hit.

bt
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Effectiveness of simple drones against tanks, targets, long term consequences

Thu Jun 23, 2022 12:21 am

These cages are inverted BBQ grills. LOL

I am unsure of the effectiveness of the cages, I would think a solid sheet would work better, raised up enough to allow for easy access out of the hatches. There needs to be enough distance to make the 2nd of the tandem charge to dissipate vs puncture the turret top.
 
superbizzy73
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Re: Effectiveness of simple drones against tanks, targets, long term consequences

Thu Jun 23, 2022 12:22 am

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/k ... on-alibaba

Does this fit into the "simple drone" category? If so (and if this was indeed from the Ukrainians), this might expose a rather large fault the Russians might have in their air defense systems. To be able to sneak through like that with a relatively simple system might definitely lead to more behind-the-line attacks. Communication centers, fuel depots, radar systems...they could all be targets now.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Effectiveness of simple drones against tanks, targets, long term consequences

Thu Jun 23, 2022 2:44 am

BestIntellect wrote:
You will likely see Apaches, attack helis become command nodes and even launchers for loitering munitions. The US Army is already testing concepts for launching drones from helicopters


I imagine there are many advantages to commanding the drone from the ground, if you can maintain a radio connection.

* The drone pilot is in a calm environment, not distracted by zooming around in an Apache
* There can be more than one drone pilot if you're launching many drones. An Apache has only one extra seat.
* The drone pilot can be in Nevada. It's much cheaper to supply people in Nevada than on the front line.
* The extra seat in the Apache is very important for fighting the Apache .. he might not have attention to spend on the drones.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Effectiveness of simple drones against tanks, targets, long term consequences

Thu Jun 23, 2022 3:45 am

True, the Apache can be the delivery system and the command node could be elsewhere, like a P-8A a little further back.

bt

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