Use Bayraktar TB-2 Drone, Russia Fights With Forpost-R Drone to Attack Ukraine


Use Bayraktar TB-2 Drone, Russia Fights With Forpost-R Drone to Attack Ukraine
The Forpost-R attack drone (via Twitter)

International Military - After being ransacked by Bayraktar TB-2, Russia uses Forpost-R drones to attack Ukraine. Russia has intensified its military action against Ukraine since February 24, 2022.

Not wanting to just give up, Ukraine then fought desperately against Russia. Later news broke that the Turkish-made Bayraktar TB-2 drone was used by Ukraine to destroy the Russian military. Now, Russia is starting to use the Forpost-R tactical UAV to launch air strikes in Ukraine.

Derived from the Israeli UAV Searcher II and built in Russia, the Forpost-R can be used for both attack and reconnaissance missions. On March 13, Russia's Ministry of Defense (MoD) released a video showing an armed Forpost-R drone taking off from an undisclosed runway, after which it was seen destroying Ukraine's multiple launch rocket system (MLRS).

A number of videos have circulated on social media, showing the drones wreaking havoc on Ukrainian military forces and their equipment. The video was first uploaded on March 11 when the deployment of these drones in the ongoing war in Ukraine was first discovered.

Read Also: Turkey's Deadly Drones Support Ukraine's Defense

Photos of the wreckage of the crashed Russian drone surfaced on social media. A placard bearing the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) logo is seen in the ruins.

In 2019, a Russian Forpost UAV was shot down in Syria. A defense analyst wrote in his article. “This would not normally raise eyebrows, but Israel and Syria are enemies, so it is a noteworthy development that Israeli drones are assisting Syria via Russia. Sometimes war makes strange bed mates.”

The Forpost is a reconnaissance UAV built by the Yekaterinburg-based Ural Civil Aviation Plant (UZGA) under license production based on the Israeli Searcher Mk II UAV drone. Russia had obtained the license in 2015. However, as relations between the West and Russia deteriorated, Israel succumbed to US pressure in 2016 and stopped shipping components to Russia.

Israel's decision prompted the Russian Ministry of Defense to launch the Forpost indigenization program. The development of drone attack variants is given priority. The Forpost has previously been used for surveillance, reconnaissance, target acquisition and designation, artillery fire adjustment, damage assessment, and mission surveillance.

The chairman of the UZGA informed the Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu in January 2017 that the original and upgraded versions of the Forpost would be available for delivery in 2019. In August 2019, the Ministry of Defense released a video of the UAV known as the Forpost-R. Russia further claims that the testing phase of the Forpost-R has ended and the UAV will enter service in 2020.

The Ministry of Defense claims the new UAV is equipped with a Russian-made APD-85 piston engine, electro-optics, electronics, datalink system, and works on local software. The Forpost-R also has a reinforced fuselage for added durability.

The UAV has a maximum endurance of 18 hours, a take-off weight of 500 kg, a service ceiling of about 20,000 feet, and a maximum range of about 400 kilometers.

The Ministry of Defense and UZGA signed a deal in February 2020 for 10 new Forpost-R drones. The Forpost-R is exhibited at the Army-2021 defense exhibition in Kubinka, Russia, in August 2021. It is equipped with two anti-tank missiles (ATGM) of the Kornet 9K135 system.

During the Zapad-2021 exercise in September, a Forpost-R equipped with two KAB-20 family guided bombs, one under each wing, was seen in action. The Forpost-R featured in the MoD video appears to be equipped with the same family of bombs. 'KAB' stands for Korrektiruemaya Aviatsionnaya Bomba, which translates as “corrected aerial bomb” in English. The number '20' denotes the estimated weight of the weapon in kilograms.

The KAB-20 family was created by the Central Scientific Research Institute of Chemistry and Mechanics. Apart from the 9M133 and KAB-20 families, the Forpost-R can be equipped with a variety of versatile 'dumb' bombs. The UAV is said to be capable of carrying payloads of up to 120 kg.

Recently, Russia expanded its bomb target to destroy a theatre, where more than a thousand people are thought to have taken refuge. A bomb shelter was also detonated after the attack in Mariupol.

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