Ukrainian forces just destroyed two expensive Russian air defense systems using one of their new loitering attack drones according to a video released from the encounter.
The video was published by volunteer fighter Serhii Prytula according to Defense Express and took place somewhere along the Zaporizhzhian frontline.
In the video, a RAM II Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Loitering Munition can be seen approaching and destroying a Russian Tor-M2 surface-to-air missile system.
While hunting the Tor-M2 system, Ukrainian forces spotted a second air defense system of the same model and called in another RAM II sortie to destroy the weapon.
The second sortie was also successful and within a matter of minutes, Ukrainian forces were able to fully destroy two Russian air defense systems at very little cost.
The Russian Tor-M2 costs roughly $25 million dollars according to Defense Express, which would bring the total price of the loss to $50 million dollars.
The Ukrainian RAM II drones used to destroy the two Tor-M2 systems can be produced cheaply and at scale according to their manufacturer’s website, though their price has not been released by their maker.
The RAM II has an effective range of 18.6 miles and can fly for about 55 minutes, which makes it perfect for hunting Russian armor and air defense systems close to the front.
As for weaponry, the RAM II carries a payload of 5.5 pounds and its manufacturer noted that it can prove accurate within 3.2 feet of its intended target.
The RAM II can carry thermobaric payloads designed for targets within buildings or small armed vehicles with people according to its manufacturer’s website as well as high-explosive anti-tank warheads for hitting heavily protected targets.
There is also a fragmentation payload option that allows the RAM II to be used as an anti-personnel weapon against targets gathered in large and open spaces.
Built by a group of the best Ukrainian defense companies in operation, the RAM II has proved to be just one of many effective drone weapons in Ukraine’s growing arsenal.
Drones have been used by Ukraine for everything from long-range attacks and anti-personnel weapons to reconnaissance missions and artillery spotting.
On March 20th, Ukrainian forces used their drone army to target and destroy Russian weapons systems in occupied Crimea, the aftermath of which was recorded and quickly spread on social media according to Politico’s Veronika Melkozerova.
“The footage showed explosions in Dzhankoy, a town in the northern part of Crimea and a strategically important railway connection used by the Russian army,” Melkozerova wrote.
“Ukrainian Military Intelligence reported that an explosion had destroyed a cargo of Russian Kalibr cruise missiles, Melkozerova added, “which Moscow has used to hammer Ukrainian critical infrastructure.”
While Ukraine never officially claimed responsibility for the attack, Russian authorities blamed it on “Ukrainian drones,” Melkozerova wrote, which illustrated again just how important drones have become in Ukraine’s war against Russia.
In October 2022, Urakine crowdfunded the cost of its first 50 RAM II drones and raised $9.6 million dollars within 24 hours according to Daniel Boffey of The Guardian, though these were not the drones used in the Dzhankoy attack.
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