Russians are using VR headsets to attack with mining-designed UAVs
MOSCOW, RUSSIA — Russian troops, like Ukrainian troops, use industrial, non-military drones in Ukraine. Through a Ministry of Defense profile on Telegram, the Kremlin provides more clarity about these drones. These are Boomerang drones that are widely used in mining and quarrying, energy, and construction.
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The Russian military department showed the work of a drone team in winter conditions in Ukraine. An operator and an assistant control the drone’s flight and military application. The operator wears VR glasses that serve to control the drone during its flight. They broadcast in real-time. The task of the assistant is to track the flight of the drone according to the map of the region.
These drones are also known under the name FPV – First Person View. The Boomerang drone shown in the video features integrated post-processing kinematics [PPK]. This is what makes it highly suitable for the industry.
When used with a non-military application, the drone performs much more accurate calculations and locates specific control points needed to construct roads, and buildings, place blasts in open-pit mines, properly distance power poles, and more.
However, due to the use of radio signals, a ham radio license is required in some countries. In others, this license is not required, but care must be taken to ensure that the operator does not exceed power limits or use the wrong frequency bands without a license.
What advantage does this drone provide in a military environment? First, the Boomerang drone has a relatively good speed considering the battery capacity and the size of the drone – 170 km/h. Second, the drone is comfortable to operate, and the VR orientation provides the ability to easily follow a route. Last but not least, the Boomerang does not feature a satnav. This gives an advantage as the impact of anti-drone guns on him is very small. I.e. provides the opportunity for frequent, accurate, and hassle-free defeats.
As seen by the Russian military department shared, the drone was loaded with explosives before setting off on its suicide mission. According to Russian military sources, some Russian troops in Ukraine are installing a night vision camera on the bottom of the drone so it can be used at night. How effective it is to use a night camera, which adds weight and unbalances the drone, is unknown.
Russia is not the only operator of “custom design” in the war in Ukraine. Ukrainian troops set the tone for the use of civilian drones. From shortly after the start of the war to this day, Ukrainian troops use civilian kamikaze drones. There are hundreds of videos on the web of Ukrainian armed forces successfully hitting Russian armored fighting vehicles.
Of course, the projectile attached to the drone has a small explosion that cannot damage the vehicle’s armor. Therefore, the goal is to drop the bomb from the drone into an open hatch, ensuring that the machine will remain intact, but the crew will be eliminated.
The use of such drones in war is a cheap solution for both warring parties. A similar configuration costs between 500 and 700 US dollars.
The Russian Boomerang drone shown in the video strongly resembles the Chinese DJI drones, models 03 and 03 Air Unit. The mention of DJI is no accident. Already last year, it became clear that the Russian armed forces have quantities of these drones. There is no evidence that China supplied them to Russia since these are drones for civilian use and their purchase is done without documents from all over the world.
Want to build your own drone? If you have time, a little money, and desire – you can do it. How? Read our article How to easily make your own unmanned quadcopter [drone].
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