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(Asia Times)   The latest Russian combat gear to include small attack drones. Would you like to know MORE?   (asiatimes.com) divider line
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571 clicks; posted to STEM » on 26 Oct 2020 at 7:17 AM (5 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-10-25 11:55:02 PM  
Well that should end well...

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SUKA, BLYAD!!!
 
2020-10-26 12:26:42 AM  
The chance of this actually coming into production and being deployed widely is pretty slim..
Russia likes to talk about all the new toys, and special units and so on, but a lot of that stuff
ends up either never coming about at all or is nothing more than shuffling the deck chairs around
a bit and re-branding some units with a couple test versions of whatever toy they have.

As an example, the Armata tank that they talked up so widely has been pretty much shelved due to costs and
lack of sales of any of the stuff that platform (It was designed to be a base drive train for tanks,APC's etc..)
They "decided to "upgrade" their older tanks instead of getting more Armata versions..They ended up
with just a handful of Armata tanks (like 25).
 
2020-10-26 1:53:42 AM  
They're only now getting into drones?
 
2020-10-26 7:13:00 AM  
Mortar rounds are like $2 each
 
2020-10-26 7:24:25 AM  
"Russia is catching up with the West in terms of military drone technology, but it still has a ways to go."

How far is "a ways" in freedom units?

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-10-26 8:10:35 AM  
[Russian_arms_bankruptcy_intensifies.j​pg]
 
2020-10-26 8:18:34 AM  

Tr0mBoNe: Mortar rounds are like $2 each


When you don't have a bloated contractor to budget for, and if you include the mortar itself, the economics look a bit better.

Bonus; any poor bastard whoever humped the baseplate will be eternally grateful.

Why it won't happen here in a hurry; bloated contractors padding costs is where campaign contributions come from.
 
2020-10-26 8:40:44 AM  

Mr. Shabooboo: The chance of this actually coming into production and being deployed widely is pretty slim..


Actually, I think this is going to be the wave of the future.

Small, autonomous self-destructing drones that seek out targets in some geographically defined "kill box", and detonate when they get close enough.   Certainly it makes a lot more sense than, say, an artillery bombardment.

So let's say you've got to take an area.  Traditionally, you'd have your artillery bombard the area to soften it up, kill as many men as you could, and demoralize the others.   The problem is that even the best artillery is very inefficient.   People can dig in, and that provides a lot of protection.

But a drone, especially one with multispectrum sensors that can see in far infrared, near infrared, visual, and ultraviolet, along with RF sensors, can be employed to seek out individuals and groups of individuals.  It's hard to completely camouflage yourself from every direction as well as overhead.   It's *POSSIBLE*, but while you're hidden, you're not effective.

So I can see relatively inexpensive kamikaze grenade drones being a thing in future warfare.  Send them out en masse, limited to searching within a "kill box", and they'll be relatively effective at killing enemy soldiers.

Of course, that leads to other things like making decoys for them and jamming their sensors.   It's a back-and-forth thing, this crazy little thing called war.
 
2020-10-26 9:42:16 AM  

Tr0mBoNe: Mortar rounds are like $2 each


Yeah, but you have to expend a lot of them to kill 1 person.

If you've got to fire 5,000 mortar rounds to kill a single enemy soldier, and that seems like a low-ball figure, you're expending $10,000 per kill.

If you've got a mass produced $1,000 drone that has just a 25% kill rate, and can safe itself and return to be used again if it doesn't find a target, you've got a very significant cost savings.
 
2020-10-26 10:21:47 AM  

dittybopper: Mr. Shabooboo: The chance of this actually coming into production and being deployed widely is pretty slim..

Actually, I think this is going to be the wave of the future.

Small, autonomous self-destructing drones that seek out targets in some geographically defined "kill box", and detonate when they get close enough.   Certainly it makes a lot more sense than, say, an artillery bombardment.

So let's say you've got to take an area.  Traditionally, you'd have your artillery bombard the area to soften it up, kill as many men as you could, and demoralize the others.   The problem is that even the best artillery is very inefficient.   People can dig in, and that provides a lot of protection.

But a drone, especially one with multispectrum sensors that can see in far infrared, near infrared, visual, and ultraviolet, along with RF sensors, can be employed to seek out individuals and groups of individuals.  It's hard to completely camouflage yourself from every direction as well as overhead.   It's *POSSIBLE*, but while you're hidden, you're not effective.

So I can see relatively inexpensive kamikaze grenade drones being a thing in future warfare.  Send them out en masse, limited to searching within a "kill box", and they'll be relatively effective at killing enemy soldiers.

Of course, that leads to other things like making decoys for them and jamming their sensors.   It's a back-and-forth thing, this crazy little thing called war.


I think their hackability, and the nature of complex things having complex problems, makes it a thing people will try for a while and then cast aside as a bad idea.

It's like you've tossed out a bunch of automated landmines.  What happens when they pick the wrong target? Can they be automatically safed well enough that you trust picking one up? What if the enemy blocks the right frequency and they lose tracking or get confused?
There's alot of what if's in that which you don't have with a mortar round. By the time you resolve those issues, you're no longer saving money on a unique piece of highly engineered hardware. You're paying the same for a missile with less range and a smaller warhead, now with the bonus of complex AI behavior that may be difficult to predict in wartime conditions.

It appears to work for now because first world armies are just catching up to the idea, but when they do then the defenses will be as prolific as gas masks.
 
2020-10-26 10:33:26 AM  

way south: It's like you've tossed out a bunch of automated landmines.  What happens when they pick the wrong target?


Same thing as regular landmines.  They go off.

Wrong person gets killed.   It's called "collateral damage", and while it sucks if you're the one collateralized, it's a thing that along with "friendly fire" is a feature of warfare that's never going to go away.  Designing your weapons to be effective against an enemy military but safe to use around innocent civilians is an impossibility, and only a fool would try to do it.

As for the "hackability", that's relatively easy to prevent.   Only accept programming when plugged into a stand-alone programming device.   No GPS or other external guidance, inertial only which should be accurate enough for a short range (within a handful of miles).

The real issue would be that they'd be susceptible to decoying if you figure out how they are targeting, but unless you capture one, that's going to be tough to figure out.  And they can be programmed to either self-destruct or return to base if they don't find a target.
 
2020-10-26 10:57:10 AM  
A lot of battery power is consumed during launch and ascent. If it were me, I'd design drones to be launched en masse from high altitude bombers. Drop them from 60,000 feet to give them enough time to glide into their AO and establish ground links. Have a room of 200 pilots guiding them from a safe distance. Give the drones reasonable recon photo equipment but mostly (weight-wise) HE-AP bomblets. Forego all stealth capabilities, make it cheap and make it modular for future upgrades or scavenging of parts for future chassis systems.

If the goal is safety of soldiers, precision and no collateral damage, then a human should guide the weapon all the way down to the target.
 
2020-10-26 11:47:26 AM  

Mr. Shabooboo: The chance of this actually coming into production and being deployed widely is pretty slim..
Russia likes to talk about all the new toys, and special units and so on, but a lot of that stuff
ends up either never coming about at all or is nothing more than shuffling the deck chairs around
a bit and re-branding some units with a couple test versions of whatever toy they have.

As an example, the Armata tank that they talked up so widely has been pretty much shelved due to costs and
lack of sales of any of the stuff that platform (It was designed to be a base drive train for tanks,APC's etc..)
They "decided to "upgrade" their older tanks instead of getting more Armata versions..They ended up
with just a handful of Armata tanks (like 25).


I wonder what the unit cost of an Armata tank is compared to that of a small drone?

In future wars, tanks - unless they are "bolo'ed up" significantly and have their own swarms of defensive drones - will simply be practice targets. (As with large warships.) As with the stirrup, the long bow, gunpowder, and (yes, soon to be obsolete tanks and aircraft carriers) drones are the new warfare game-changer.
 
2020-10-26 11:49:53 AM  

tuxq: If the goal is safety of soldiers, precision and no collateral damage, then a human should guide the weapon all the way down to the target.


The job of the military is to kill people and break things.

Any military that has goals that significantly interfere with doing those two things that is going to lose to militaries that doesn't have those same goals.
 
2020-10-26 11:58:37 AM  
Everyone has drones.  It's not exactly new technology.
 
2020-10-26 11:58:54 AM  

dittybopper: Mr. Shabooboo: The chance of this actually coming into production and being deployed widely is pretty slim..

Actually, I think this is going to be the wave of the future.

Small, autonomous self-destructing drones that seek out targets in some geographically defined "kill box", and detonate when they get close enough.   Certainly it makes a lot more sense than, say, an artillery bombardment.

So let's say you've got to take an area.  Traditionally, you'd have your artillery bombard the area to soften it up, kill as many men as you could, and demoralize the others.   The problem is that even the best artillery is very inefficient.   People can dig in, and that provides a lot of protection.

But a drone, especially one with multispectrum sensors that can see in far infrared, near infrared, visual, and ultraviolet, along with RF sensors, can be employed to seek out individuals and groups of individuals.  It's hard to completely camouflage yourself from every direction as well as overhead.   It's *POSSIBLE*, but while you're hidden, you're not effective.

So I can see relatively inexpensive kamikaze grenade drones being a thing in future warfare.  Send them out en masse, limited to searching within a "kill box", and they'll be relatively effective at killing enemy soldiers.

Of course, that leads to other things like making decoys for them and jamming their sensors.   It's a back-and-forth thing, this crazy little thing called war.


The hell. We agree on something. It's strange, but I think you and I are pretty much alone on Fark regarding drones.

I'll go you one further: particularly as they get smaller, the ONLY effective defense against drone attack will be armed and kamikaze defense drones (likely controlled by AIs linked to individual troops). Each soldier will have in his "kit" a "batman" BigDog or similar bot to carry all his shiat, perhaps a few autonomous or semi-autonomous land bots to do things like clear mines, draw fire, and attack opposition bots, and a complement of air drones,

Infantry engagements of the near future will consist of meat soldiers on both sides hunkering down while land bots snipe at each other and drones engage in hundreds, perhaps thousands, of individual dogfights over the contested battlefield.
 
2020-10-26 12:03:03 PM  

Harlee: drones are the new warfare game-changer


I can assemble a 2 meter drone that flies at 40 MPH for up to 4 hours completely autonomously for a total parts cost of around $2000.  You go on Google Maps, click on your take-off point, select waypoints and actions, a landing zone(s), and then chuck it into the air.  Local terrain maps are all downloaded to the onboard SD memory card, and it has sub-meter GPS and LIDAR as well.

That's what a mere private citizen can do.
 
2020-10-26 12:07:08 PM  

Harlee: In future wars, tanks - unless they are "bolo'ed up" significantly and have their own swarms of defensive drones - will simply be practice targets. (As with large warships.) As with the stirrup, the long bow, gunpowder, and (yes, soon to be obsolete tanks and aircraft carriers) drones are the new warfare game-changer.


It would take a drone carrying a huge payload in order to defeat the Chobham armor on an Abrams.  Easier to give a grunt some anti-tank missile.

Tanks could employ some chaff rounds to mask their various signatures and confuse the drones.  Perhaps even a chaff round fired from the main gun that sheds chaff along the entire flight path.  The tank then drives under the chaff path for protection.

Measure => Counter-measure => Counter-counter-measure.
 
2020-10-26 12:26:34 PM  

indy_kid: It would take a drone carrying a huge payload in order to defeat the Chobham armor on an Abrams


And here's one now.
media.wired.comView Full Size
 
2020-10-26 12:30:22 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: Harlee: drones are the new warfare game-changer

I can assemble a 2 meter drone that flies at 40 MPH for up to 4 hours completely autonomously for a total parts cost of around $2000.  You go on Google Maps, click on your take-off point, select waypoints and actions, a landing zone(s), and then chuck it into the air.  Local terrain maps are all downloaded to the onboard SD memory card, and it has sub-meter GPS and LIDAR as well.

That's what a mere private citizen can do.


Yep. In a way, the civilian drone is analogous to the ancient crossbow. It took IIRC an entire year to train a longbowman. But you take a thousand peasants, shove crossbows into their hands and a quiver of bolts at their sides, give them a half hour's practice shooting, and you have a force that can stop knights in chain mail dead in their tracks.
 
2020-10-26 12:35:34 PM  

dittybopper: Same thing as regular landmines.  They go off.


It's no the same. Normally its unfortunate people who dig up a lost landmine, not all of your lost landmines that go seeking unfortunate people. The casualties, and political fallout, can be much higher.
The troubles of rounding up stray bomblets are no less complicated to deal with just because you've attached a microcomputer.  It's all the fun of trying to restock a hand grenade that's lost its pin.

If the drone is programmable (which it would need to be for up to date guidance or recovery) then its vulnerable to electronic attack or interference. If it has inertial navigation or fancy programming then the costs increase alongside the likelihood of a malfunction.  The smaller and less redundant the drone, the most likely it is to be lost and potentially give up its secrets.

I think its one of those ideas like unmanned fighters. It sounds great on paper, but there's alot of problems created when they decide not to follow the script.
 
2020-10-26 1:11:43 PM  
Why bother shooting at your enemy when you can release small suicide drones that attach themselves to the nearest large moving heat source and burrow in, burn or blow up?
 
2020-10-26 1:36:23 PM  

way south: If the drone is programmable (which it would need to be for up to date guidance or recovery) then its vulnerable to electronic attack or interference


Inertial guidance can't be interfered with, and multi-constellation sub-meter GPS units like the U-Blox ZED-F9P makes jamming GPS very problematic for an adversary.  See what happened in the Saudi oil fields last year for a preview of the things to come.
 
2020-10-26 2:53:27 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: way south: If the drone is programmable (which it would need to be for up to date guidance or recovery) then its vulnerable to electronic attack or interference

Inertial guidance can't be interfered with, and multi-constellation sub-meter GPS units like the U-Blox ZED-F9P makes jamming GPS very problematic for an adversary.  See what happened in the Saudi oil fields last year for a preview of the things to come.


Inertial guidance is not as cheap or accurate as GPS guidance, and there's alot of money going into both interfering with drone communications and the weapons needed to knock them down.
What happened in Saudi may not be a repeatable event if everyone's aware of the threat now. They're going to deploy countermeasures specifically for short range drones.

If drones were the future then they wouldn't be pumping so much money into hypersonic missiles.  They wouldn't need something designed to knock down air defenses if these were easily circumvented by cheaper methods.


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-10-26 4:00:38 PM  

way south: If drones were the future then they wouldn't be pumping so much money into hypersonic missiles


Pentagon spending on hypersonic missiles is flat.  I don't know who is doing the spending, but they are handy for sinking aircraft carriers and the like.  Meanwhile the Pentagon is spending a lot more on drones, and that spending is increasing.  Drones being paired with infantry, as is mentioned upthread.
 
2020-10-27 2:54:59 AM  

Marcus Aurelius: way south: If the drone is programmable (which it would need to be for up to date guidance or recovery) then its vulnerable to electronic attack or interference

Inertial guidance can't be interfered with, and multi-constellation sub-meter GPS units like the U-Blox ZED-F9P makes jamming GPS very problematic for an adversary.  See what happened in the Saudi oil fields last year for a preview of the things to come.


Even something like heavy smoke and dust that clogs or confuses sensors is enough for any non-gps
or radio guided unit...Anything that was meant to be remotely controlled can be hacked,jammed,
spoofed or otherwise interfered with electronically.

I think the Saudi oilfield attack was taking advantage of a couple of thing.The arrogance of the Saudi defense
leadership, and that they had nothing defensive to protect the oil facility from all possible type of attacks, because of that arrogance..IMHO there is no such thing as, "We didn't see that coming!" when your
job is defense..EVERY scenario no matter how bizarre or remote has to be looked at..Ya, ok, the odds
the US will be attacked by naval bombardment of Boston Harbor by Nepal is remote..Maybe make a file folder
for that one and  let it go.. But the chance that your arch rival, your fighting a proxy war with and is supplying arms to the rebels, might assist those rebels to launch a drone attack against your vital economic target.. Ya, you should see that coming..
 
2020-10-27 7:25:30 AM  

Mr. Shabooboo: Marcus Aurelius: way south: If the drone is programmable (which it would need to be for up to date guidance or recovery) then its vulnerable to electronic attack or interference

Inertial guidance can't be interfered with, and multi-constellation sub-meter GPS units like the U-Blox ZED-F9P makes jamming GPS very problematic for an adversary.  See what happened in the Saudi oil fields last year for a preview of the things to come.

Even something like heavy smoke and dust that clogs or confuses sensors is enough for any non-gps
or radio guided unit...Anything that was meant to be remotely controlled can be hacked,jammed,
spoofed or otherwise interfered with electronically.

I think the Saudi oilfield attack was taking advantage of a couple of thing.The arrogance of the Saudi defense
leadership, and that they had nothing defensive to protect the oil facility from all possible type of attacks, because of that arrogance..IMHO there is no such thing as, "We didn't see that coming!" when your
job is defense..EVERY scenario no matter how bizarre or remote has to be looked at..Ya, ok, the odds
the US will be attacked by naval bombardment of Boston Harbor by Nepal is remote..Maybe make a file folder for that one and  let it go.
. But the chance that your arch rival, your fighting a proxy war with and is supplying arms to the rebels, might assist those rebels to launch a drone attack against your vital economic target.. Ya, you should see that coming..


Back in the day when I was doing work in a ship CIC (early/mid 70's), I know for a fact that the Captain had a top secret "book" of scenarios. It was quite thick. There is apparently an obscure yet fairly robust group in the bowels of the Pentagon that does nothing but wargame various things that might happen, no matter how insane or ridiculous.

This may be a bit exaggerated by the person who told me (who would know about such things), but I was assured that -  should a flying saucer appear over Paris and steal the Eiffel Tower - the ship had a preordained set of orders on exactly how to respond to it (we were 200 miles off the coast of North Vietnam at the time). All the scenarios were periodically revisited and updated, based on new intelligence/informed speculation and changes in unit strength, composition, and deployment.
 
2020-10-27 9:00:52 AM  

Harlee: Mr. Shabooboo: Marcus Aurelius: way south: If th...

I think the Saudi oilfield attack was taking advantage of a couple of thing.The arrogance of the Saudi defense
leadership, and that they had nothing defensive to protect the oil facility from all possible type of attacks, because of that arrogance..IMHO there is no such thing as, "We didn't see that coming!" when your
job is defense..EVERY scenario no matter how bizarre or remote has to be looked at..Ya, ok, the odds
the US will be attacked by naval bombardment of Boston Harbor by Nepal is remote..Maybe make a file folder for that one and  let it go.. But the chance that your arch rival, your fighting a proxy war with and is supplying arms to the rebels, might assist those rebels to launch a drone attack against your vital economic target.. Ya, you should see that coming..

Back in the day when I was doing work in a ship CIC (early/mid 70's), I know for a fact that the Captain had a top secret "book" of scenarios. It was quite thick. There is apparently an obscure yet fairly robust group in the bowels of the Pentagon that does nothing but wargame various things that might happen, no matter how insane or ridiculous.

This may be a bit exaggerated by the person who told me (who would know about such things), but I was assured that -  should a flying saucer appear over Paris and steal ...


And yet, in 1983, the government of Grenada coming to us asking for help to get filthy Communists off their island was a surprise...
The book (hell, bookcases) of contingencies is a great idea and provides job security for people you probably don't want to let get bored.  But there are always gaps.
 
2020-10-27 9:12:27 AM  

Laobaojun: Harlee: Mr. Shabooboo: Marcus Aurelius: way south: If th...

I think the Saudi oilfield attack was taking advantage of a couple of thing.The arrogance of the Saudi defense
leadership, and that they had nothing defensive to protect the oil facility from all possible type of attacks, because of that arrogance..IMHO there is no such thing as, "We didn't see that coming!" when your
job is defense..EVERY scenario no matter how bizarre or remote has to be looked at..Ya, ok, the odds
the US will be attacked by naval bombardment of Boston Harbor by Nepal is remote..Maybe make a file folder for that one and  let it go.. But the chance that your arch rival, your fighting a proxy war with and is supplying arms to the rebels, might assist those rebels to launch a drone attack against your vital economic target.. Ya, you should see that coming..

Back in the day when I was doing work in a ship CIC (early/mid 70's), I know for a fact that the Captain had a top secret "book" of scenarios. It was quite thick. There is apparently an obscure yet fairly robust group in the bowels of the Pentagon that does nothing but wargame various things that might happen, no matter how insane or ridiculous.

This may be a bit exaggerated by the person who told me (who would know about such things), but I was assured that -  should a flying saucer appear over Paris and steal ...

And yet, in 1983, the government of Grenada coming to us asking for help to get filthy Communists off their island was a surprise...
The book (hell, bookcases) of contingencies is a great idea and provides job security for people you probably don't want to let get bored.  But there are always gaps.


Yes.
 
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