Flying Wild Bees: Military UAV Battlefield Showcased

The UAV unit is the biggest contributor to the temporary settlement of the Naka conflict.

In recent years, whether it is in anti-terrorism operations, targeted removal of leaders of extremist organizations, or precision strikes on tactical targets in local wars, the exposure rate of UAVs has become higher and higher, and its role has become more and more important.

As a new means of warfare, like the steel torrent of tanks in World War II, carpet bombing in the Vietnam War, and informationized operations in the Gulf War, drone attacks are subverting traditional combat methods and redefining modern warfare.

A century of drones
In World War I, manned aircraft changed from a reconnaissance tool to a war machine capable of firing guns and dropping bombs. The earliest UAV design is also inseparable from the First World War.

In 1914, the British Military Aviation Society approved the drone bomb project. In 1917, the automatic gyro stabilizer that can make the plane fly forward in a balanced manner was invented, which solved the first technical difficulty of unmanned flight, and the unmanned aerial vehicle officially entered the stage of history.

Both Britain and the United States developed drones that could fly with live ammunition during World War I, but they did not engage in actual combat due to various reasons. In 1927, the British navy flew a “throat” type single-wing drone on the USS Fortress. The aircraft carried 113 kilograms of bombs and flew 480 kilometers at a speed of 322 kilometers per hour, which attracted the attention of the world.

War is the biggest driving force for technological progress. The German V-1 “Avenger” UAV in World War II was the dual pioneer of modern UAVs and cruise missiles. The V-1 was equipped with the most advanced air pressure and altimeter, magnetic compass and gyroscope at the time, which could maintain the height, direction and stability of the fuselage, and could fly 240 kilometers in accordance with a preset orbit.

The V-1 does not require a bombing action, and can directly impact and detonate the warhead. Due to its low guidance capability and relatively poor accuracy, the error range between the V-1’s impact point and the target is as high as 30 kilometers.

After World War II, the U.S. military took the lead in seeing the military potential of UAVs. The research team overcame the technical difficulties of high-speed maneuvering and high-altitude flight. In 1955 and 1964, they developed the first jet drone “Firebee” and the drone D based on the M-21 “Blackbird” platform. -twenty one.

TB 2 drone control room at the Air Force base near Famagusta, Turkey, December 16, 2019

/ Certain hotspots with frequent conflicts are constantly being watched silently by the “eagle eyes” above the clouds. /

They are mainly responsible for radio intelligence collection, high-altitude reconnaissance and decoy missions for enemy air defense firepower. Due to the active performance of the “Firebee” in the Vietnam War, drones were once again included in the tactical system of military powers. Israel and other countries have carried out key research on UAV technology.

With the support of high-tech technologies such as radar and optoelectronics, the combat indicators of UAVs have been greatly improved. Due to the rapid development of materials science and aerodynamics, the design of drones tends to be lightweight. The application of large aspect ratio and flexible material wings enables the uninterrupted high-altitude long-endurance UAV designed accordingly to make up for the shortcomings of manned aircraft.

From the perspective of platform configuration, UAVs can be divided into fixed-wing UAVs, multi-rotor UAVs, and unmanned helicopters. Compared with manned aircraft, UAVs have many characteristics such as small size, light weight, low take-off conditions, long flight time, high maneuverability, strong concealment, low cost, and easy recovery. They are suitable for local wars and low-intensity wars. Use in other specific environments.

In the Gulf War and the Afghan War, the U.S. military has successively equipped multiple UAV systems such as “hunters”, “predators”, and “Global Hawk”, which have outstanding performance in reconnaissance. In 2001, the MQ-1 “Predator” UAV launched a missile for the first time, destroying an Afghan extremist tank. Since then, combat UAVs have entered a new era of integrated reconnaissance and combat from their main reconnaissance mission.

In the Naka conflict in Armenia and Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijani army, which used a large number of Israeli-made drones for combat, won the conflict, and its stellar record of unmanned aerial vehicles has attracted the attention of the world.

Anti-radar hero in surprise attack
Before the Fourth Middle East War in 1973, although the Israeli army was equipped with “Mabet” and “Quail” reconnaissance drones, when the war broke out, the Israeli army did not use drones to detect enemy aircraft. , But suffered heavy losses in the first week of the war. After the war, Israel also accelerated the introduction and development of unmanned aerial vehicles on its own.

The staff installed the missiles on the MQ-1 “Predator” drone

On June 9, 1982, Israel took advantage of the chaotic international situation and the desperate opportunity of the countries in the Middle East to make a surprise attack on the “Sam-6” missile base in Syria, which was a major threat to the Israeli air force.

The Syrian army has long been wary of the Israeli Air Force and has been paying close attention to the movements of the Israeli army. When dense numbers of targets appeared on the radar, the Syrian air defense missiles immediately started the aiming procedure. However, these targets were all two drones, the “Samson” and the “Wynne” released by Israel to attract firepower.

After the Syrian air defense firepower was attracted, the Israeli air force, the main force of the real attack, eliminated the radar target with missiles, and ended up with cluster bombs and other weapons. Within 6 minutes, the Syrian missile base was basically destroyed. The Israeli “Scouting” and “Bulldog” UAVs also surveyed and recorded the battle situation throughout the entire process, while the “Firebee” UAVs took photos and evaluated the battlefield.

The Bekaa Valley air raid is a typical early case of manned/UAV coordinated combat, and it is an in-depth application of the UAV’s anti-radar capabilities.

“Reaper” hunts down the “Middle East Spy King”
In the early morning of January 3, 2020, Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s “Holy City Brigade”, flew secretly from Syria to Baghdad. A group of people riding in two off-road vehicles, when the vehicle entered the cargo area near Baghdad International Airport, was hit by the “Blade Hellfire” missile carried by the U.S. MQ-9 “Reaper” drone. The “Blade Hellfire” missile is specially used for beheading operations. The warhead replaces the hollow charge warhead with a rotating steel sheet.

Immediately, the locked vehicle was penetrated into the roof by a conventional Hellfire missile and exploded. The search and rescue personnel judged by the ruby ​​ring on the hand of the deceased that Major General Soleimani, known as the “Middle East Spy King,” was killed in the operation.

The MQ-9 “Reaper” UAV is an improved version of the MQ-1 “Predator” UAV. A set of MQ-9 system is equipped with 4 MQ-9 UAVs and 10 crew operators, which can meet the combat requirements in a variety of environments. Since September 2007, the MQ-9 has performed thousands of missions in the Middle East and other hotspots. As the weapon of choice for unconventional operations, it can be described as an out-and-out “Reaper.”

According to reports, the U.S. military hunted Soleimani because Iran shot down the U.S. Navy’s “Global Hawk” high-altitude long-endurance drone in the Persian Gulf.

On January 6, 2021, Iran launches its first large-scale drone combat exercise

The “Global Hawk” UAV is a very advanced reconnaissance aircraft equipped with infrared detection systems, high-precision cameras and synthetic aperture radars. It can monitor and accurately identify targets through obstacles such as clouds and rain at an altitude of close to 20,000 meters.

The “Global Hawk” can transmit images to the ground command in real time. It can monitor and reconnaissance an area of ​​nearly 140,000 square kilometers every day, and can refuel in the air to increase the flight time. Certain hotspots with frequent conflicts are under the silent gaze of the “eagle eyes” above the clouds all the time.

“Harlop”‘s death dive
From September to November 2020, a large-scale military conflict broke out between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the Naka region. During the conflict, the Azerbaijani army had a large number of Israeli and Turkish drones, and launched a strong attack on the opponent’s targets on the front line.

/ The composite material and aerodynamic layout of the “Halop” fuselage give it a strong stealth function. /

In the weather suitable for combat, the Afghan army has a certain number of UAVs to monitor and patrol in the theater, provide information support for its command and decision, and carry out air defense suppression on the Asian army. Once tactical targets such as air defense missile systems, main battle tanks, self-propelled artillery, and infantry fortifications are locked, the UAVs represented by TB2 and “Halop” will immediately launch missile attacks or rush to the target to detonate itself.

The composite material and aerodynamic layout of the “Halop” fuselage give it a strong stealth function and can launch strikes outside the enemy’s alert range. A basic “Harlop” UAV system is mainly composed of 1 ground command vehicle, 3 launch vehicles and 18 UAVs. Its most effective function is to lock and quickly destroy the enemy’s air defense system. Radar equipment.

Its photoelectric sensor and position memory program can also make subsequent strikes against other important targets of the air defense system convenient and quick. The buzzing of death when “Halop” approached, made the soldiers of the Asian nation in formation lost their fighting spirit and fled in all directions. The UAV unit is the biggest contributor to the temporary settlement of the Naka conflict.

Although the cost of drones is relatively low compared to manned aircraft, their electronic equipment is sophisticated. Even the advanced and expensive “Reaper” and “Global Hawk” drones have been shot down by backward and cheap anti-aircraft weapons and forced to land in enemy-controlled areas due to malfunctions. precedent. In the upcoming 5G era, the global drone powers have designed advanced solutions for how to better incorporate drones into the strategic layout and tactical system.

The rich functions and tactics of drones provide many new possibilities for modern warfare. However, it should be pointed out that in the previous battle cases, the outstanding performance of the UAV mainly relied on the other’s limited prevention and response methods, and the two sides were not equal in terms of military technology and information.

The scene where the two warring parties use advanced drones for combat and mutual use of information countermeasures such as electronic jamming has not yet appeared. UAV tactics need more practical verification.

But it is foreseeable that in future wars, unmanned equipment represented by drones will take on more roles. This is the general trend.