Are UAVs invincible? | THE NEWSPAPER

By | May 11, 2023

a few days ago one buzz fell on the Kremlin, in an incident that both belligerents distanced themselves from, Russia and Ukraine.

In the current pre-election period in neighboring Turkey he Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) of the national defense industry (restructured under the leadership of his son-in-law Recep Tayyip Erdogan) have been presented as roughly a panacea for all the needs of the Turkish Armed Forces (TFF).

In its various phases Greco-Turkish crisis In recent years, (especially from 2020-21 onwards) TB-2 (Bayraktar) and TED’s ANKA-S have been deployed to put pressure on Hellenic Armed Forcesin a more economical and safe way, since a UAV has 12-36 hours of autonomy with lower fuel consumption as it is not a jet, without the fatigue and costs involved in training an operator.

Turkish and Iranian UAVs have been used in several recent conflicts (Syria, Libya, Nagorno Karabakh, Ethiopia) and have been characterized as a weapon that can turn the tide of a war.

Not everyone agrees with this finding and in the academic world, at least in the part that is connected with the latest advances in the study of military operations.

About a year ago in a long scientific article in the journal International Security (vol. 46, no 4, pp. 130-171) by MIT researchers Antonio Calcara, Andrea Gilli, Mauro Gilli, Raffaele Marchetti and Ivan Zaccagnini argued in favor of of the position. that UAVs haven’t changed the facts in warfare (“Why Drones Haven’t Revolutionized Warfare”).

Contrary to generally accepted notions about drones, which are significantly influenced by the publicity MEAs get, the researchers concluded that UAVs cannot tip the scales of a war in favor of the aggressor. And they looked at three conflicts where MEAs were widely used, namely in Syria, Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh.

Overall, the authors concluded that the drones did not help the attackers in the first place. In fact, a closer examination of the conflict, for example, in Nagorno-Karabakh, shows that the Armenians did not lose to the Azeri because of the UAVs, but because the latter in the previous twenty years had invested significant resources in modern conventional weapons systems. . .

Unlike the Armenians who fought on the basis of late Soviet weaponry. Also, UAVs don’t seem to bridge the gap between strong and weak states. And thirdly, they did not lead to the elimination of hand-to-hand combat.

It is further estimated that drones can only be effective when integrated into larger formations with conventional weapons systems, for example, together with fighter jets and aircraft that provide operational imaging, radar and electronic warfare systems, artillery and infantry.

They also believe that the deployment of air defense and electronic warfare systems by local or major powers could downgrade or even completely halt an offensive that relies heavily on today’s military drone technology. Generally, without superior weaponry in the conventional sector, drones can only provide a temporary and easily reversible advantage.

Questions and debates like these often pass “under the radar” of the public dialogue which very often takes place through the “bombardment” of public opinion with news about the Turkish defense industry and its development in recent years.

This discussion did not leave him indifferent. Greece defense planning in recent years. Quietly, on the islands of the Eastern Aegean, a system was installed last summer to deal with of Turkish UAVswhile efforts are underway for Greece to acquire its own systems (Israeli HERONs on Skyros and, in the future, American MQ-9s on Larissa).

Mainly, however, efforts are aimed at strengthening the largely outdated air defense, consisting of outdated Russian or Eastern European technological systems (TOR-M1, OSA-AK, S-300). Air defense is completed by HAWK, ASRAD and, of course, Stinger-type MANPADS. And, of course, the most effective anti-aircraft weapons available to the Air Force (PA)PATRIOT missiles of American origin. Of the systems that are required to deal with threats, such as those emanating from UAVs, Greece has some possibilities. Electronic warfare (EW). In any case, these are possibilities that need further development, because in this field, Turkey has strengthened significantly.

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