Russian military equipment is often well camouflaged, but the Ukrainians find and destroy it with the help of drones that drop bombs on enemies. Such a cheap and effective method appeared thanks to developers who used artificial intelligence to detect targets.
The community of Ukrainian developers focused on the key problem – how to accurately identify and aim at a disguised enemy. They began to cooperate with the military initiative Delta, which is looking for technological ways to fight.
Two developers who previously worked on scanning objects “taught” AI to detect disguised Russian equipment. As the drone films everything its camera sees, artificial intelligence automatically detects enemy equipment and marks it with red squares. The exact coordinates of the equipment are transmitted to the drone operator and the commander at headquarters.
The drone videos what it's seeing with its camera. The developers' AI system automatically recognises camouflaged enemy equipment and marks it with the precise geographical coordinates. The data is sent both to the drone operators and the commander in the field. /6 pic.twitter.com/8fCWEjaCul
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Since the drone is carrying explosives, the commander gives the order to attack. With the help of small bombs (for example, a modified anti-tank grenade), even a tank can be destroyed in this way. A drone usually carries several bombs, so one can be used for targeting and the others for damage.
Some drones can carry 4 bombs and hit at least two targets per one flight. Now they are developing the ability to switch drones to kamikaze mode if the target is important enough. Even so, destroying a tank remains cheap. A drone costs $15,000-$20,000 and bombs cost $1,000, while tanks and infantry fighting vehicles cost much more.
The shot is taken from an altitude of about 100m (300 ft). Drones often carry several bombs. The first is often used as a test drop before the drone corrects its position to hit the target directly. /8 pic.twitter.com/T9kefCRTRu
— ChrisO (@ChrisO_wiki) July 13, 2022
Interestingly, such drones are not vulnerable to Russian electronic warfare because they do not use GPS to navigate in flight.
Ukraine also uses many independent systems that often work according to completely different principles. Unlike the Russian Orlans, which are developed by a state-owned enterprise at the government’s order, Ukrainian systems are developed by enthusiasts and create a diverse ecosystem with different types of drones.
Since such a system is still constantly developing, it is difficult for the enemy to counter it. Now developers are working on drones that can fly up to 50 km and carry a load of up to 20 kg.