Ukraine's Cessna-like drones outwitting Russia's air defense systems – Business Insider

Ukrainian drone aircraft
Ukrainian drone aircraft

Ukraine has been recently using an unusual weapon to strike deep inside Russian territory: small unmanned aircraft packed with explosives that resemble some variants of Cessna propeller-driven aircraft, Business Insider reported on May 15.

The light aircraft seen in attacks this spring fly at low altitudes and move much slower than long-range missiles.

However, they were able to evade Russia’s air defense systems and fly hundreds of kilometers unharmed to reach their targets deep in enemy territory.

Read also: Ukrainian drones strike fuel depot in Russia’s Rostov Oblast

These aircraft emphasize the success of Ukraine's innovative long-range drone program, experts say.

In early April, Kyiv used a modified Aeroprakt A-22 Foxbat aircraft to attack a drone manufacturing plant in Russian Tatarstan, Business Insider reports. This small ultralight sport aircraft was developed and produced in Ukraine. It costs less than $90,000 per unit.

“The Ukrainian drones are in fact slow-flying ultralight planes,” Russian outlet Mash reported earlier.

“They flew at least 1,300 km - probably even 1,500 km - before hitting the refinery in Bashkortostan. The Russian air defense is non-existent.”

Read also: Drones attack an oil refinery in Russia’s Tatarstan — video

The plane can travel at speeds of up to 200 kilometers per hour, which is much slower than a cruise missile, which can fly at speeds of over 800 kilometers per hour, or a ballistic missile, which is much faster. It can also be equipped with explosives inside the cabin.

Fabian Hoffmann, a researcher at the University of Oslo and a security expert, said that "in the world of missile systems," the aircraft is "basically a flying brick."

Although the drone may appear crudely assembled, it is still "a rather complex weapon system" because the existing airframe and engine still need to be combined with explosives and guidance technology, he told Business Insider.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine