Russians grasp Ukrainian UAV with Pakistan-Turkey connection

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An unexpected twist has surfaced on the global stage, as evidence suggests a drone that crashed in Russia’s Belgorod area might have been assembled in Pakistan, in conjunction with Turkey, before being armed with explosives in Ukraine and then dispatched into Russia. 

This intriguing finding comes amidst rumors that Turkish drone creator Baykar is establishing a new factory in Ukraine while Pakistan has purportedly entered into an arms transaction with two private American firms in 2023 to provide ammunition to Ukraine amid its conflict with Russia. 

It appears that the covert arms sales from Pakistan to the US were executed as an alternative to Washington arranging a disputed International Monetary Fund bailout for financially beleaguered Pakistan. This move implies that Pakistan has taken an active role in the Ukraine-Russia war, a conflict it’s been asserting neutrality in. 

Photo credit: Twitter

The connections were unearthed by OSINT military experts after pictures of the downed drone in the Belgorod region began to circulate. This particular drone model has crashed before, but this instance left it largely unharmed, revealing many intriguing details, including a C3-6 explosive. 

Physicist Daniel R. delved into the drone’s peculiarities through social media platform X. “These drones run on a Chinese-manufactured DLE 170 engine. Evidence of dark oil on the exhaust manifold might suggest engine failure. Moreover, the fuselage, made of pricy carbon fiber, features premium aluminum parts,” he elaborated. 

Daniel further remarked, “The electronics seem peculiar. It uses automotive-style fuses with 23 circuits, which seems excessive for such a small drone. Furthermore, there’s a variety of at least six electrical connectors, encompassing BNC, SMA, DB9, and DB25.” 

Photo credit: Twitter

The intriguing part is that this exact drone model is currently operated by the Pakistan Air Force and is on display at Pakistan’s National Aerospace Science and Technology Park [NASTP]. 

However, it remains challenging to pinpoint the exact origin of the crashed drones because “there are no clear signs of the aircraft manufacturer or model on the drones.” 

In August 2023, Turkish Aerospace Giant Baykar penned a contract with NASTP in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Inside NASTP, Baykar Technologies will carry out research and development operations and collaborate on promoting shared innovation and advanced technology development competencies. 

Photo credit: Twitter

This drone model was also showcased alongside the winged loitering munition, “KaGeM V3,” developed by the NASTP, and had a Baykar logo. Other items on display included a Baykar Akinci, the Baykar corporate logo, and the Turkish flag. 

The conflict between Ukraine and Russia has provoked some unusual alliances. For instance, Turkey has riled the US with its choice of the Russian S-400, while simultaneously setting up a drone factory in Ukraine. 

Daniel highlighted another odd detail: a prominent “B” painted on the tail. “Only recently, this kind of marking started appearing on Ukrainian drones. A similar one was found on a drone that crashed into the Slavneft-YANOS oil refinery located deep inside Russia,” he commented. He added, “Could this mystery drone have been headed for a similar target? If that was the case, it might have required a more robust battery.”

Photo credit: Twitter

What does Ukraine use?

The Bayraktar TB2, a drone manufactured in Turkey, has become the go-to choice for Ukraine’s military endeavors. This drone, despite its relatively small size, comparable to a small aircraft, packs an impressive punch with its capability to carry laser-guided bombs and cameras.

In a notable incident in April 2022, the Russian cruiser Moskva was sunk in the Black Sea, largely as a result of the strategic deployment of a Bayraktar drone. Russia, on the other hand, employs the more simplistic Orlan-10 drone, equipped with cameras and limited bombing capability.

Moreover, Ukraine has diversified its drone arsenal with affordable commercial options like the DJI Mavic 3, which sells for approximately £1,700. While these drones can be fitted with small bombs, their primary role is to identify enemy forces and coordinate attacks.

A unique characteristic of FPV [First Person View] drones is their manual operation and independence from GPS satellite navigation, making them less vulnerable to electronic warfare techniques.

A source reported an intriguing claim by Russia – the development of a ‘magic radio’ for FPV drones that enhances their resistance to jamming, marking another achievement in the advancement of drone technology.

Photo credit: Lithuanian MoD

Turning our focus to the sea, we find Ukraine employing maritime drones, which include both surface and subaqueous models. Since 2023, these drones have been instrumental in attacking Russia’s Black Sea Fleet at Sevastopol. The most recent encounters depict Ukrainian naval drones effectively damaging a Russian amphibious landing ship and striking a fuel tanker.

Russia faces complex supply chain difficulties as it contends with Chinese constraints to procure drones and corresponding parts, resulting in supply delays and shortages.

Particularly noteworthy is the initiative by China-based Shandong Buyun Aviation Technology Co., Ltd. to deliver 1,000 drones to Russia. They plan to do this by a rather roundabout route to circumvent global sanctions. These disassembled drones will first be shipped to Kazakhstan [via Urumqi, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous District, PRC], each drone being in a separate case, before finally arriving in Russia.

Photo credit: Twitter

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

On February 21, 2022, Russia stated that its border facility was attacked by Ukrainian forces, resulting in the deaths of five Ukrainian fighters. However, Ukraine quickly dismissed these allegations, labeling them as ‘false flags’.

In a notable move on the same day, Russia announced it officially recognized the self-proclaimed areas of DPR and LPR. Interestingly, according to Russian President Putin, this recognition covered all the Ukrainian regions. Following this declaration, Putin sent a battalion of Russia’s military forces, tanks included, into these areas.

Photo: Facebook

Fast forward to February 24, 2022, global headlines were dominated by a significant incident. Putin commanded a forceful military assault on Ukraine. Led by Russia’s impressive Armed Forces positioned at the Ukrainian border, this assault wasn’t spontaneous but a premeditated action. Despite the circumstances resembling a war, the Russian government refrains from using this term. They’d rather refer to it as a “special military operation”.

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