Attacks on Russian air bases highlight Ukraine’s new drone programme

Attacks on Russian air bases highlight Ukraine’s new drone programme

(CNN) – The bombings at two Russian air bases on Monday focused attention on Ukrainian efforts To develop long-range combat drones.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the strikes were carried out by Ukrainian drones, which it claimed were shot down by Russian air defenses. Satellite images and photography indicate that some damage was caused to Russian military aircraft at a base in the Ryazan region.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense did not provide any official comment on the bombings, and the Ukrainian government did not acknowledge adding long-range attack drones to its arsenal.

However, state arms manufacturer Ukroboronprom has indicated several times in recent weeks that it is nearing completion of work on a new long-range drone.

In October of this year, Ukroboronprom posted on Facebook, along with a photo of what appeared to be part of the UAV structure: “The range is 1000 km, the weight of the combat module is 75 kg. Finalization.”

A month later, on November 24, Ukroboronprom issued another publication: “The next stage of UAV tests: on behalf of the Chief of the General Staff, we are preparing flight tests within the framework of electronic warfare.”

“The weather, on the one hand, becomes a problem, and on the other hand, it is an additional test for the complex. A kind of crash test.”

One photo showed “az vozdam” written on what was supposed to be the drone, meaning “I will pay”.

And on Saturday, the Ukrinform news agency reported that company spokeswoman Natalia Sade told Ukrainian television that “several stages of successful testing have been completed.”

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She added, “According to the instructions of the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, we are moving to the testing phase involving an electronic warfare jamming environment.”

However, there is no public indication that the drone in question was ready for deployment or was involved in the explosions inside Russia. Monday early.

Attacks on Russian bases

The two attacked bases, according to the Russian Defense Ministry, are hundreds of kilometers apart. within Russian territory And beyond Ukraine’s declared arsenal of unmanned aerial vehicles. No photos or images of the drone’s wreckage have been released.

In the western Russian town of Engels, more than 800 kilometers southeast of Moscow, security camera footage emerged showing an explosion that lit up the sky around 6 a.m. local time on Monday morning.

The port city was home to Engels-2 Airfield, a strategic bomber air base, about 6 kilometers from where the CCTV footage was recorded.

Roman Busargin, the governor of the Saratov region, reassured residents on Telegram that no civilian infrastructure had been damaged, but said that “information about incidents that occurred at military facilities is being reviewed by law enforcement agencies.”

He admitted information about a “loud collision and explosion in Angels at dawn” that had circulated on social media and the media.

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