Russian drones would be beaten by Ukrainian elite soldiers targeting weapons with devastating missiles. A five-man crew of an Osa surface-to-air missile defense system wreaks havoc on Russia’s battlefield offensive as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s troops continue to face huge setbacks in the conflict . Russia reportedly used a number of different drones during the war, such as the terrifying Iranian-made Shahed-136 “Kamikaze” type drones. But Soviet-made K33 Osa short-range missiles would cope well with the many threats looming in the skies.
Hassan, a 30-year-old lieutenant in the five-man team, told The Times: “We don’t have much but what we have we use well.” His comments came shortly after the team shot what they thought. was a Russian Orlan drone, which fell too far for the squadron to pick up the pieces.
Hassan added, “We prefer enemy machines to fall from the sky close enough for us to collect the parts.”
It was one of nine deadly Orlan-10 surveillance drones the team claimed to have shot down with its Osa missile system in the past three months.
Hassan said, “Leave them in the air and they will call in the artillery on our soldiers.” As soon as our men hear the sound of an Orlan above them, they know bad news is coming.
The Orlan-10 is thought to cost around £75,000 and is fitted with infrared cameras which can spot potential targets. It sends real-time video to Russian gunmen via a cellular network and has been used to scout defensive positions in areas like Donbass, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said.
But since they fly at relatively low altitudes, Russian weapons make themselves vulnerable to attack. And Ukraine is also using its own drones to counter the Russian threat. The Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2, given to Ukraine by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (Putin’s ally), was said to have been very effective during the initial phase of the war.
While these could have knocked out other Russian drones from the skies and gunboats, they wouldn’t be as handy for fending off tanks.
However, Ukraine also has the murderous “Switchblade” of the United States. These have also been dubbed “Kamikaze” drones and have amazing tank destroying abilities that can pierce heavy armor as they dive into targets.
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According to reports, the United States has pledged to send at least 700 Switchblades to Ukraine, and at least 100 have already arrived. But for squadrons like Hassan’s, the Soviet-era Osa, dubbed Gecko SA-8 by NATO, is the best counteroffensive weapon they have to work with.
He said: “Our fight is all about sudden speed. It’s not the best and the spares are tough. But that’s all we have.
“We live in the mud in side holes, raining while waiting, still waiting. Then if we get a sudden order on the radio from one of our early warning systems that a drone is approaching, we we rush into the vehicle and power it up.”
The six-wheeled weapon has a radar on top and six missiles on the back, and has a range of 8 miles. The unit can only keep its radar on for about two minutes or it risks being found and targeted by a Russian anti-radiation missile.
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Hassan’s troop was stationed southwest of Donetsk, one of four Ukrainian regions that Putin tried to annex. But that doesn’t mean Russia has full control, given that Ukraine has forced Russian troops to withdraw into northeastern Ukraine and areas that Putin is trying to claim as his own.
In Donetsk, Ukrainian forces gain ground as they push east, retaking the town of Lyman in a massive counteroffensive.
And Davydiv Brid, a strategically key village in the southern region of Kherson, was liberated along with several other nearby villages.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said his troops made “quick and powerful movements” across southern Ukraine and liberated “dozens of settlements” this week. Other liberated villages include Lyubymivka, Khreshchenivka, Zolota Balka, Bilyaivka, Ukrainka, Velyka Oleksandrivka and Mala Oleksandrivka. Mr Zelensky added that it was “far from the whole list”.