MOSCOW, September 21. /TASS/. /TASS/. The UAV rapid reaction squad, which was one of the first to use FPV (first-person view) drones during the special operation in Ukraine, destroyed and disabled more than 100 pieces of military equipment and about one battalion of manpower during a year it has spent at the frontline, the squad’s commander has told TASS.
"Over the year the attitude to the FPV drones has changed. And in the past three months it has changed dramatically. During Ukraine’s counteroffensive everyone was able to see how effective they can be to stop both armored vehicles and infantry. At the moment, there is no day without FPV being used. Over the past year, the squad has destroyed and disabled more than 100 pieces of military equipment, including both tanks and US vehicles Bradley and pickup trucks, and also hit more than a battalion of enemy manpower. This is an intermediate result. We keep working," the squad’s commander said.
The FPV drones have changed the enemy's behavior during the counteroffensive.
"Whereas at the beginning of the counteroffensive the enemy used to march in columns, now everything has changed. Its forces do not roll out close to the line of engagement and prefer to move mainly at night. Some armored vehicles have also acquired "jammers," means of electronic warfare, but they cannot equip all their vehicles on the massive scale, which also reduces the number of armored vehicles involved. After a number of failed infantry assaults they have changed their tactics. Before they moved in groups of five. Now they move one by one, or in pairs and keep a distance," the UAV squad’s commander said.
The consumption of drones depends on the situation at the frontline: on some days one crew may launch 1-2 drones and on others, 20-30.
"In case of intensive offensive operations, the consumption grows tens of times. Lately, we spend about 1,000 UAVs a month," the commander said.
The UAV squad began to take an active part in the special military operation in Ukraine in September 2022 as part of one of the divisions. First, it operated near Maryinka, and later in the Zaporozhye area, where Ukrainian forces have been trying to counterattack.