Discovery in Ukraine: Russia apparently using cable-tethered kamikaze drones

Found in Ukraine
Russia apparently uses wired kamikaze drones

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Drones are playing a key role in the war in Ukraine. On the front, Ukrainian military personnel have now got their hands on a cable-connected Russian drone. According to experts, data connectivity offers many benefits.

Russian troops in Ukraine are testing wired kamikaze drones on the front lines, according to a report. This is reported by the American portal “War zone“, citing a Telegram post by a member of the Ukrainian military Serhii Flash, specializing in electronic warfare. The channel released several photos on Thursday that it said showed a captured Russian FPV (first-person view) drone with a fiber-optic cable. It is unclear where and when the recordings were taken.

You can see the label of the cable spool in one of the pictures posted. The label indicates a cable length of 10.8 kilometers. One end of the cable is connected to the main control part of the drone. According to reports, the quadcopter also has a temporarily attached explosive device. “We've seen something we've never seen before. A Russian FPV drone flew towards a target with a 10 kilometer long thin fiber optic cable. The cable unraveled in the air,” the Telegram post said.

Wired control offers some advantages, “War Zone” writes. Physical connectivity protects the drone from interfering signals (jamming) in an electronic warfare environment. Thanks to the cable, large amounts of data transfer are also possible. A stable, uninterrupted, high-quality video signal increases the accuracy and effectiveness of attacks. Additionally, the drone does not emit radio signals, making it difficult to identify by electronic surveillance systems. However, the disadvantage is that a kilometer-long cable link reduces maneuverability.

It is not clear to what extent the recovered drone is a first prototype. According to the Telegram post, the discovery was handed over to the Ukrainian drone division for further investigation.

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