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TGA0703 – Improvised Rotary Wing Loitering Munitions, Ukraine

TGA0703 – Improvised Rotary Wing Loitering Munitions, Ukraine

Since June 2022, both the Ukrainian and Russian sides have released documentation of quadcopters used as rotary wing loitering munitions against enemy positions. The quadcopters are packed with explosives and have been documented exploding upon impact. The use of rotary wing UAVs as loitering munitions is unusual, with negligible documentation, and this development has two notable aspects. The first is the use of such quadcopters by Russian forces, who are supplied with standard, complex loitering munitions. The second is the previously unseen use of FPV racing quadcopters as improvised rotary wing loitering munitions, as opposed to more common hobby quadcopters. FPV quadcopters are inexpensive and can be purchased online. Their high speed, light weight and maneuverability make them excellent for deployment by small reconnaissance teams, enabling them to conduct highly precise attacks incorporating the element of surprise. In the hands of an experienced and well-trained operator, these kinds of weapons are likely to be effective in anti-personnel roles and against light vehicles in open areas, as well as targets inside buildings and facilities.

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