This morning, Ukrainians were very pleased with a video in which an unknown UAV strikes at an oil refinery in Novoshakhtinsk, in the Rostov region of Russia. It is logical to assume that this is the work of the Armed Forces, but there are some questions.
A Ukrainian PD-1 drone hit the Russian Novoshakhtinsky refinery in Rostov Oblast. A very deep strike within Russian territory. pic.twitter.com/Cqc0x1KoSp
— OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) June 22, 2022
First, the location appears to be south of the Novoshakhtinsky refinery, somewhere between the cemetery and the village of Lichnyi Trud. Then the UAV flies from the southeast, ie from the territory of Russia, from Novoshakhtinsk. That is why the person behind the camera first decided that it was a Russian UAV. On the other hand, it could have been a detour for our pilots.
Secondly, the UAV itself. At first, everyone decided that it was Ukrainian UKRSPECSYSTEMS PD-2, but it’s not it. PD-2 is a reconnaissance UAV that can carry only 3 kg of bomb load. Yes, the carrying capacity of PD-2 is as much as 19 kg, but it is necessary to remove everything and stuff explosives instead of equipment. In addition, the PD-2 is a very expensive toy. We remind that the PD-2 complex (two UAVs and a control car) costs $1,000,000, a little too much to use as a kamikaze drone. Most likely, it is something much cheaper, especially since the appearance of the stabilizer of the unknown drone is not much like the PD-2 stabilizers.
The most likely candidate is Chinese Skyeye 5000 mm Pro UAV or Skyeye 6000 mm Pro UAV, which can be purchased on AliExpress. 5,000 and 6,000 wingspan here. These toys cost very little – $9,000 and $10,500 respectively. Thus, the declared cruising speed of flight is 120 km/h, and endurance of 7-8 hours. And most importantly, a payload of 15-20 kg is just enough to set fire to the refinery. There is still the question of the range, i.e. the transmitter/receiver and their security.
And here we come to the third. To get to the Novoshakhtinsky refinery, our soldiers had to launch UAVs from, say, Bakhmut or Toretsk. In this case, the UAV was to fly over the front, over the temporarily occupied territories of the terrorist groups LNR and DNR, and over the vaunted Russian echelon air defense. That is, either the air defense is nothing at all, or our soldiers are real demons. We believe in the latter!
That is the probability that the Russians themselves hit the refinery is quite high. Or they were pro-Ukrainian partisans of the Rostov region. On the other hand, such creative use of cheap Chinese UAVs and audacity is in the spirit of the Ukrainian military and volunteers.
In any case, whoever hits the Novoshakhtinsk refinery is on fire. Burn, baby, burn!