Russian Air Defenses Shot Down More Than 100 Ukrainian Bayraktar TB2 Combat DronesSouth Front

April 13, 2023


Russian Air Defenses Shot Down More Than 100 Ukrainian Bayraktar TB2 Combat Drones

Illustrative image. Source: the Russian Ministry of Defense.

Russian air defenses have shot down more than 100 Bayraktar TB2 combat drones supplied by Turkey since the start of the special military operation in Ukraine, Lieutenant General Andrey Demin, the commander of the Air Defense Force, deputy commander-in-chief of the Aerospace Forces, revealed in an interview with the Russian army daily newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda that was published on April 10.

“There are practically no fundamental distinctions between fighting against strategic drones like the United States [RQ-4] Global Hawk or [MQ-9] Reaper or Turkey’s operational-tactical Bayraktar TB2 and counteraction to crewed aircraft. The elimination of more than 100 Bayraktars, delivered to Ukraine during the whole period of the special military operation is clear evidence of this,” the senior Russian officer said in the interview, according to the TASS news agency.

Lt. Gen. Denim added that the recent incident between a Russian Su-27 fighter jet and a U.S. MQ-9 over the Black Sea, when as a result of sharp maneuvering the drone went out of control, lost altitude and collided with the water surface “makes it clear to the Western world community that for Russia’s air defenses such aerial targets are no problem.”

Turkey supplied dozens of Bayraktar TB2 drones to Ukraine before the beginning of the Russian special military operation. More drones were shipped to the country after the beginning of the operation, likely under a secret deal with Kiev. The last known batch, which consisted of just two drones, was reportedly delivered to Ukraine for free in January.

Developed by Turkey’s leading drone manufacturer Baykar, the Bayraktar TB2 has an endurance of up to 24 hours and an operational range of less than 300 kilometers.

The drone is typically equipped with the Canadian-made Wescam MX-15D optical targeting system and can be armed with up to four laser-guided MAM-C and MAM-L munitions made in Turkey by Roketsan.

Russian short and medium-range air defense systems supporting the special military operation in Ukraine, like the Pantsir-S1, Tor-M2 and Buk-M3, were successful against Bayraktar TB2 combat drones, which lack both speed and the ability to maneuver. Some of Kiev’s drones were also reportedly downed in aerial engagements, with electronic warfare means or destroyed on the ground by pinpoint strikes.

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