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Orlan-10 UAVs in action against Ukrainian artillery

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Orlan-10 UAVs in action against Ukrainian artillery

Original by Diana Mihailova; translation by J.Hawk

Materials presented by the Mikhailovo Artillery Military Academy confirmed significant personnel, armaments, and equipment losses suffered by the Ukrainian forces during the fighting in Maryinka in May 2016, a month to which Aleksandr Turchinov referred to as “black.”

Orlan-10 UAVs in action against Ukrainian artillery

The Special Technology Center of the Mikhailovo Artillery Military Academy made public materials concerning the experimental reconnaissance-strike complex consisting of Orlan-10 UAVs and a battalion of self-propelled 2S1 Gvozdika 122mm howitzers, and the effects of its use on the Donbass.

The materials refer to events which Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council Secretary Turchinov referred to, during June 2, 2016 visit to a National Guard training facility, in the following manner: “May was for us a “black month”, because during that month we suffered the heaviest losses in an entire year. We lost very many heroes, many others were wounded.”

Turchinov also issued the standard accusations, to wit: “Russian-terrorist forces are using weapons prohibited by the Minsk Agreements in order to accurately strike our positions. It’s not just a matter of an increased number of bombardments. These are very accurate strikes, which rely on modern target acquisition and fire correction systems. ” We should note, however, that the Orlan-2S1 combo destroyed similar “weapons prohibited by Minsk agreements,” which was also about to be used “using modern target acquisition and fire correction systems,” provided by Ukraine by the US.

According to the report, 4 US AN/TPQ-48 counter-battery radars were destroyed. Two additional such radars were lost in sector S during the destruction of the Debaltsevo cauldron, according to uncovered Ukrainian military staff documents.

Orlan-10 UAVs in action against Ukrainian artillery

The AN-TPQ-48 located in a single-story house, was destroyed together with the house and highly trained personnel operating the radar. This mission was accomplished using only 38 shells, instead of the 300 specified by artillery fire norms.

Immediately after these losses, Ukrainian authorities immediately requested additional deliveries of such radars, which Poroshenko announced during a press conference on June 3: “Russia turned Ukraine’s East into a training ground for testing its newest weapons, electronic warfare systems, communications, but Ukrainian forces, with the help of its partners, have already learned how to combat them and are capable of repelling any possible offensive operations. Ukraine has strengthened its reconnaissance, its protective measures, and equipment strength.”

On July 2, Poroshenko personally greeted a new batch of counter-battery radars received by Ukraine from the US. During the transfer ceremony at the Borispol airport, he said: “Today we are receiving counter-battery systems as US military aid. This batch is only part of Washington’s aid intended to strengthen Ukraine’s ability to defend itself.” He added that the counter-battery systems, valued at $335 million, are only part of the assistance the US plans to provide Ukraine.

The Orlan-2S1 reconnaissance-strike complex also suppressed 3 company positions, eliminating at least 30% of personnel and equipment located at these sites, destroyed 3 Tochka-U short-range ballistic missile launchers, at least 17 tracked and 20 wheeled vehicles, two 2A36 152mm cannon, at least 3 82mm mortars, and an artillery ammunition storage. Ukrainian forces lost at least 90 killed and 220 wounded, numbers which were confirmed by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission.

Orlan-10 UAVs in action against Ukrainian artillery

A screenshot from video sent by an Orlan-10. Ukrainian equipment and troops are, typically, located in the midst of civilian dwellings.

The report also contained information about the shelling of a company defensive position which struck 79th Airmobile Brigade’s Feniks Battalion’s artillery sheds in Maryinka, destroying all of its MTLB armored vehicles.

Скриншот  с видео, переданного БПЛА «Орлан-10» в процессе боевого применения разведывательно-огневого комплекса. Характерно, что украинская боевая техника и войска расположены непосредственно в населенном пункте.

Orlan-10 UAVs in action against Ukrainian artillery

The result of shelling artillery sheds of the Feniks Battalion. May 2016.

According to the report, 112 shells were launched at the position, instead of 3240 shells specified by artillery firing norms.

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