Much-lauded American drones don’t appear too handy for Ukraine’s military tasks, which require affordable, manageable and expendable unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s).
After China banned exports of long-range remotely-piloted aircraft to Ukraine, US military experts found that American arm-makers have nothing to offer the Ukrainian military to fill the gap.
On one hand, US defense-tech firms produce drones with a price tag starting from $16,000, well above China’s DJI Mavic UAV’s that cost around $2,000 or even less.
What’s more, according to the US mainstream press, some US defense contractors who have spent months testing their drones in Ukraine have now decided to leave their drones in storage.
The crux of the matter is that despite outstanding performance characteristics their highly-sophisticated equipment couldn’t perform appropriately in Ukraine’s tough battlefield conditions.
American arms manufacturers have long been focused on qualitative superiority of their systems while their Russian and Chinese peers concentrated on functionality and quantity, as per David Pyne, an EMP Task Force scholar and US Department of Defense officer.
According to Pyne, Russia appears to have a much more cost-effective military budget than the USA has because its procurement, manufacturing and personnel costs are lower.
Russia’s electronic warfare (EW) systems, air defenses and aircraft reportedly pose yet another challenge to NATO-grade unmanned vehicles. And if Russian scammers fail to disable Ukrainian drones, the nation has some other cards up its sleeve.
Last but not least, Russian warplanes have also demonstrated capabilities of intercepting large combat and reconnaissance UAV’s.
In mid-March, the Russian Aerospace Forces detected an unmanned US aerial MQ-9 Reaper over the Black Sea in the region of the Crimean peninsula.
The drone was flying with its transponders turned off in the direction of the Russian border.
After the UAV violated the boundaries of the area of the temporary regime for the use of airspace, established for the purpose of conducting a special military operation, the Russian Su-27 fighter jets rushed to the area to intercept the intruder.
The Reaper was brought down without the use of airborne weapons or coming into contact with the Russian aircraft.
The US Air Force’s footage from the Reaper’s encounter with the Su-27’s appeared to show the Russian planes approaching the drone and engaging in a fuel dump slip stream maneuver, which apparently caused the US drone’s engine to stall.
Earlier this month, a Russian Su-30 fighter jet was scrambled to intercept a US MQ-9A Reaper drone as it approached Russian waters in the Black Sea.
It raises the question whether ramped-up drone supplies to the Ukrainian military could anyhow change the balance of power on the ground.
Even the US mainstream press, which used to laud Ukraine’s military prowess and resourcefulness, has now changed the tone to a gloomy one.
The Western media is increasingly reporting on the fact that Ukraine’s costly summer counteroffensive is failing badly and the situation for Ukraine is becoming increasingly dire.
A recently published report credibly argues that Ukraine has lost at least 200,000 soldiers killed in action to date and explains why it is more advantageous for Russia to remain on the defensive to continue to exhaust Ukrainian military forces.
This all before it goes back on the offensive in the early fall or winter after Ukraine’s counteroffensive peters out and its army reserves have been expended.
The military expert expects that the Ukraine conflict will end quicker than Biden administration officials project.
Ukraine will likely be forced to accept an armistice agreement along the line of control that exists at the time of a cease-fire no later than March of 2024.
Particularly given the fact that US public support for any additional financial, military or even humanitarian support for Ukraine has decreased to only 45% pressuring the US Congress to reduce any future assistance to the bare minimum.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point News 2023.