Inside Ukraine’s 'cheap and slow' drones laying waste to Russian armour

UKRAINE has an unexpected trick up its sleeve in the battle against Russian forces and it comes in the form of a relatively cheap drone.

The small Turkish-made unmanned vehicle has become something of a favourite, despite being quite basic compared to other tech.

Videos have appeared online showing the Bayraktar TB2 destroying Russian missile launchers on the ground.

It's become so popular and successful that a song dedicated to the drone has been produced.

And a puppy training with police in Kyiv has also been named after the drone.

The unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are thought to cost about $5million /£3.8million, far cheaper than Israel's Heron at $10million/£7.6million, and US drones for about $20million/£15.3million.

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Not only that, they're slower and smaller.

So how have they managed to become such a success?

“It’s quite startling to see all these videos of Bayraktars apparently knocking out Russian surface-to-air missile batteries, which are exactly the kind of system that’s equipped to shoot them down,” drone expert David Hambling told NBC News.

"It is literally a World War I aircraft, in terms of performance.

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"It’s got a 110-horsepower engine. It is not stealthy. It is not supersonic. It’s a clay pigeon — a real easy target."

He added: “It may be massive incompetence by the Russians. It may be that the Ukrainians have discovered some sneaky tactics they can use.”

Ukraine’s defense minister revealed at the beginning of the month that it had received another shipment of the drones.

The tech is made by a company called Baykar Technology.

One of their top chiefs is Selçuk Bayraktar, who is the son-in-law of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Turkey, keen not to take sides in the conflict, said the drone is a "product purchased by Ukraine" and "not aid from Turkey".

"The fact that it has become one of the Ukrainian military’s main deterrent elements actually shows the success and quality of the products produced by our company,” Yavuz Selim Kiran, Turkey's deputy foreign minister, told the Daily Sabah.

“Everyone is waiting in line to buy the UAVs."

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