A simple Ukrainian drone destroys one of the flagships of Russian air defense

The Ukrainian army released video of the destruction of a Russian anti-aircraft defense battery destroyed by a modified commercial drone.

The Ukrainian army on December 6 broadcast a drone attack against one of Russia’s newest air defense systems. The video, provided by the 11th Brigade of the National Guard, shows the drone racing against an S-350 Vityaz missile truck, specialized in acquiring aerial targets. A second clip, also filmed from a drone, reveals the machine in flames.

The device used by the Ukrainian military would be a “simple” commercial model, but nevertheless modified to carry an explosive charge. The target was located in the Kherson region of southern Ukraine, across the Dnieper River. These systems are generally located behind the front line and are used to intercept missiles aimed at bases located in the rear.

S-350 Vityaz anti-aircraft systems.  // Source: Russian Ministry of Defense
S-350 anti-aircraft systems. // Source: Russian Ministry of Defense

Anti-aircraft batteries are expensive due to the technologies they carry. The S-350 is supposed to be a cutting-edge machine in the Russian army, with an official deployment in 2020. The cost of such a device would be around 135 million dollars (around 125 million euros) according to the Ukrainian blogger Serhiy Sternenko, specialist in defense issues.

Military systems threatened by low-cost drones

This is the most expensive target destroyed by commercially purchased FPV (first person view) drones by Ukraine. The previous “record” for destruction by an FPV drone was the neutralization of a Russian Tor missile defense system, the cost of which is estimated at $24 million.

The Ukrainians, like the Russians, are massively using low-cost drones to target the vehicles and arsenal of each side. The loss of an anti-aircraft system should prompt the army to move their batteries away from the front line.

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