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Media: Number of Russian drones on front lines has doubled in 3 months

by Chris York and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 25, 2024 3:24 PM 2 min read
A serviceman of the 14th Regiment of Armed Forces of Ukraine holds an FPV strike drone on the front line on Oct. 26, 2023, in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Ukraine. (Vitalii Nosach/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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The number of drones being used by Russian forces on the front lines has at least doubled in the last three months, Ukrainska Pravda reported on April 25, citing undisclosed military sources.

The still relatively fledgling field of drone warfare has become an arms race between Ukraine and Russia since the start of the full-scale invasion.

The sources in the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces told the outlet that Ukrainian efforts to counter drones by electronic means were becoming less effective as Moscow's forces adapted to changes in technology.

"Roughly speaking, we made (electronic warfare) systems for the 900 MHz range. That was enough. Now (Russian forces) are making drones with a range of 700–1000 MHz," a source in the General Staff said.

"Accordingly, the means of radio-electronic warfare that we made earlier are no longer effective."

Every development in the drones themselves requires a corresponding advance in the electronic warfare (EW) technology used to counter them.

Russia has traditionally invested heavily in growing its EW capabilities, with development placed into overdrive as the full-scale war against Ukraine continues.

As the front lines have stabilized, its military has been able to place large numbers of its EW assets where they can have the greatest effect.

In his controversial opinion piece for The Economist published in November 2023, now-former Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi wrote that Russia's superiority in the number of its EW assets was one of the main threats to the war turning positional.

Deadly drone arms race intensifies as Ukraine, Russia embrace the future of war
At this stage of a war that could last years more, both Ukraine and Russia are getting serious with their drone game: ramping up production while always looking to come up with new innovations.
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