Above Ukraine rages a battle unlike any in Western experience. We should pay attention to how it is being done. 

The war in Ukraine grinds on into its third month. Events since then have shocked the world – Russia’s vast capacity to squander advantages and Ukraine’s ability to capitalise come as a surprise to many.


This article is the opinion of the author and not necessarily that of the UK Defence Journal. If you would like to submit your own article on this topic or any other, please see our submission guidelines


However, with judicious application of hindsight and a closer analysis of the actual state of both militaries (now illuminated in the harsh light of high intensity and highly documented conflict) it is easier to discern how the current situation developed. However, there are significant questions that remain unanswered – for example, how is that Ukraine is still projecting power in the air, despite the seemingly insurmountable odds stacked against them?

Russia, it has to be said, is not playing its cards well. The VKS (Russian Aerospace Forces) have proven almost entirely unprepared and unequipped for the task that was asked of them. The factors contributing to this likely include issues like poor training, inadequate equipment, flawed planning and intelligence failures all the way up and down the spectrum from the specific positions of targets to Ukraine’s will to resist. 

To overcome air defences is anything but as easy as the West has at times made it look. In Iraq it took thousands of aircraft conducting operations so complex and finely timed that they stunned many of the ground commanders watching them unfold – unused as they were to the potential tempo air operations could reach. Russia, which rarely trains its pilots to operate in groups larger than two or four (and which had not apparently even assigned an overall commander for the invasion) has proven incapable of mirroring the Coalition planners’ masterwork. Whilst competent in operating as a part of their own nation’s air defences or conducting strikes against ill-equipped insurgents, their problems with offensively dismantling a well organised and capable Integrated Air Defence System (IADS) should probably come as no surprise in hindsight. 

Now that Russia is fighting in a manner they are better equipped to deal with (massed artillery cued by drones) in the Donbas there are signs of the Ukrainian air defences local to that area suffering losses. This is worth noting – and serves as a lesson in how it isn’t just aircraft and air defences that take part in the air war – but it is a local and limited success at best. Scratching a narrow fingerhold in Ukrainian airspace is the most that this artillery-led effort can achieve, enough to ease the job of close air support (which faces other problems, like the myriad shoulder-launched missiles Ukraine possesses) and little more. Outside of this, Russia appears generally restricted to strikes on fixed targets with missiles, being either unable or unwilling to conduct systematic interdiction through Ukraine’s IADS. If unexpected in results, the state of affairs Russia is operating within, and the overall shape of its air campaign, are largely recognisable as those facing the ‘traditional’ air offensive. 

Ukraine’s air force and air defences, however, are approaching this conflict in a manner alien to Western experience. This strategy appears similar in character to aspects of the naval ‘fleet in being’ concept, as well as the established hallmarks of guerrilla warfare. The lion’s share of air denial is left to air defence rather than aircraft, a reversal of the West’s Modus Operandi. Under this umbrella what aircraft there are can ply their trade behind friendly lines, or foray out on low intensity, high impact attacks. By rapidly dispersing their aircraft at the start of the war and flying infrequently (reportedly only five-ten sorties per day) Ukraine ensures its force persists, lowering its rate of attrition to Russian attack as far as is reasonably possible. 

Bayraktar TB2

This low rate of manned sorties is supplemented by drone attacks – ranging from purpose-built strike aircraft like Bayrakter to octocopters carrying modified 30mm grenades. These, whilst individually unlikely to cause much damage, maintain pressure and steadily attrite assets. They also constitute a valuable reconnaissance and spotting asset, and alongside a steady stream of intelligence from Western sources (including specialised air and space assets Ukraine does not have native equivalents of) contribute to Ukraine’s fight for information superiority. This low-intensity trickle of painful stabs from the sky against Russian forces compels them to deploy and operate large numbers of their own air defence vehicles and systems, further straining already challenged logistics and maintenance and stressing crews – to say nothing of the morale impact it has on the units suffering attacks without any apparent recourse to retaliate. Now that the war has progressed for some time, it seems that Ukraine is also finding points into which they can insert their remaining manned air strength for maximum impact – chinks in the Russian armour which allows them to access and destroy high value targets such as the fuel storage yard at Belgorod, reportedly set ablaze by a pair of Ukrainian Mi-24s. 

Using these tactics Ukraine has achieved several things: credible air denial, persistent pressure on Russian units, exploitation of the air for reconnaissance purposes and preservation of their precious stock of conventional aircraft until worthwhile opportunities to commit them for significant impact could be found and exploited. Drones operating in the air littoral, Western intelligence assistance and infrequent and unpredictable strikes from more valuable systems allows Ukraine to exploit what air power they do have to maximum effect, circumventing or neutralising Russia’s material advantages. Naturally, they also benefit massively from their apparent intelligence advantage and from the surprising Russian inability to operate a suitably watertight system of air defences themselves, but it is one thing to be given opportunities and another to find and exploit them as Ukraine is doing. In the fight with Russia’s largely conventional air force and air strategy, Ukraine has chosen to fight differently. 

What is there to be learned from all this, then? First and foremost is that the dynamics of air power when operating in areas with disproportionately strong air defences compared to aircraft are distinct and offer their own raft of restrictions and opportunities compared to what the West is used to. As the worldwide arms race between aircraft and air defence continues, events in Ukraine may hint at the ways in which the former can continue to have an impact even when the latter’s strength is too great to be broken within acceptable timeframes. 

Secondly is the restatement (hardly needed at this point) of the fact that drones are invaluable and must both be exploited and countered. The capacity to deploy offensive, defensive and supportive forms of airpower is proliferating and devolving down to the level of individual soldiers with comparatively minimal training. When accompanied by abundantly clear confirmations that the air situation can be influenced by events on the ground just as much as the other way around it seems plausible that the distinction between air and land power may be becoming blurred.

Thirdly, and finally, is the demonstration that with appropriate employment even smaller, weaker aerospace forces can prove extremely dangerous if used correctly – and that the ability to secure the skies and leverage them at leisure is a luxury hard-won. Russia is now experiencing, and Ukraine is adeptly demonstrating, what can happen when the nominally ‘superior’ air power cannot successfully degrade the capabilities of their opponent or leverage their own strengths. Airpower is crucial and allows the edge the West tends to enjoy to diminish risks it finding itself in Russia’s shoes – abundantly equipped with expensive systems that it cannot use without suffering ruinous losses, and incapable of countering its adversaries’ efforts to leverage their own strength. 

One wonders, for example, what a current generation jet aircraft could do to stop a grenade-toting octocopter. Food for thought, at the very least. 

Tom's long-standing interest in military affairs took him as far as sunny Aberystwyth for a degree in International Politics and Military History, then all the way back home to Leeds for a Masters in War and Strategy. He specialises in contemporary conflict in general and air power in particular and can be found on twitter @BartlettT5054.
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FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
7 days ago

I do think one of the biggest take-aways from this war is the way the UA has managed to survive and continue to fight under such a bombardment. You couldn’t say they had the best equipment, mig 29s are ancient now but can be no doubt about the training of there crews and the general shear guys and determination. It does draw comparisons to the battle of Britain in a way, I hope the RAF are learning these tactics-i fear we may need it soon

Matt
Matt
7 days ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

It’s a good piece.

I am not sure about the BoB comparison – in BoB both sides had recent equipment, and the UK side were better organised / more efficiently coordinated.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
7 days ago
Reply to  Matt

And indeed began to out produce the attacker. Shortage of highly trained pilots was the major hindrance be interesting to know how Ukraine compares in that regard mind and if there is a highly committed regime to produce well trained pilots.

Jay R
Jay R
7 days ago
Reply to  Matt

The Battle of Britain. This single battle, still is and will always be engraved in the dna of the RAF. The Falklands air campaign often gets overlooked, the UK, against all odds, with SeaHarriers, managed to quickly gain air superiority.

Jonathan
Jonathan
20 hours ago
Reply to  Jay R

Yes and the falklands is very important for the U.K., you cannot overstate the advantage of Carrier born aircraft close in theatre compared to land based sorties that may have to travel a 1000kms or more.

izy
izy
7 days ago

Good article. Typo in second from last paragraph threw me for a loop for a moment. I think: “allows the edge” should be “allowing the edge”

farouk
farouk
7 days ago

Actually the title is something of a misnomer as the Israelis were the first to use the UAV to devastating effect in 1982 when they carried out Operation Mole Cricket 19 which saw the IDF destroy 29 out of 30 Syrian air defence batteries, granted the UAVs used by the IDF weren’t destroying stuff like they are today, but they were the first (as such) to realise the potential of the cheap numerous UAVs in a war setting. The Western military instead of seeing the UAV as a cheap force multiplier, instead (like the generals of WW1) treated the UAV… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
7 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Excellent point and has wider implications I think where we very often see only gold standard weapons and equipment as survivable and/or effective in modern war fighting. Hope we might learn to modulate that approach especially as even top notch equipment especially in small numbers will be degraded even in non drawn out conflicts leaving you having to improvise. Surely best then to have such weapons available and trained to use and develop strategies in their use, to not only fill that gap as it develops and maintain an effective force, but more importantly in using it cleverly as the… Read more »

Pacman27
Pacman27
7 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Farouk makes an excellent point, and one that goes unrecognised. The IDF have tight budgets and many enemies. It drives innovation and their development of UAV’s into loitering munitions is stunning, let’s also not forget they have upgraded the F35 as well for their specific needs.

Israels strategy is driven by the fact they are vastly outnumbered and therefore need to make very body count, this has been proven time and again with the Merkava which has an exceptional record.

the UK could learn an awful lot from the IDF. Whether we do so is another thing entirely.

James
James
6 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

What IDF are you on about ? The Star drone of the Ukraine Vs Russia war is the Turkish Bayraktar which has solidified it’s reputation after Syria Libya Azerbaijan while many said before it won’t succeed against a serious power like Russia. Israeli drones must be first tested against Russia before we learn anything about them .

Ukrainians made a song about it even.

G Hanson
G Hanson
5 days ago
Reply to  James

See IDF Harop loitering munition V Pantsdown sorry that should read Pantsir in the Syrian conflict.

Pacman27
Pacman27
4 days ago
Reply to  James

Most of these innovations eminate from the IDF and are battle proven.

it doesn’t matter who is making them now, it’s the fact the IDF are ahead of the game mainly due to the fact they are always under threat from larger forces.

in almost every area they are better than the UK (structurally) and we should really be taking a good look at what they do and how they do it..

they have even modified the F35 whilst we wait on block 4 integration of our missiles….

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
7 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Farouk,
from the Thales website – ‘The Thales Watchkeeper WK450 is an unmanned aerial vehicle for all weather, intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance use by the British Army’. 

So not intended to be an attack platform, carrying weapons.

Costs of the programme to March 2018 were £1.08 billion, more than £200 million above the original budget. I agree that is a lot for 50-odd ‘drones’ plus support infrastructure.

Klonkie
Klonkie
7 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Building on Farouk’s point, the SAAF deployed UAVs in a similar way in the South East Angola campaign of 87-88. I’m convinced the IDF supplied the Seeker UAVs and advised on tactics, as the similarities are striking.

These uav’s were used as decoys to intice SAM launches. These were plotted and engaged by SA army long range artillery to destroy these SAM batteries, ,

AlexS
AlexS
6 days ago
Reply to  farouk

The Watchkeeper which is btw an Israeli design based UAV do have not weapons while in British service because it was designed for reconnaissance only.
Now British Forces including Royal Navy have many time shown their preference for specialization or “one trick ponies” . That makes sense for efficiency in a large army, but not in a small one that British Army is now.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
7 days ago

Without any doubt UAVs have immense potential for future operations and something the British armed forces should definitely take away from the Ukraine war. There is an element of cost-effectiveness by using Bayraktar drones or their UK/USA equivalent- eg Reaper/ Predator series- their cost per flying hour is much reduced compared to a Eurofighter typhoon or F35B and against frontline targets such as artillery emplacements or military convoys where MANPADS and SAM systems are likely to be deployed defensively you wouldn’t want to risk a manned frontline fighter jet. So UAVs are without doubt the future- the RAF needs to… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
7 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

One can even envisage a smaller less rich country but able to produce and otherwise acquire such weaponry, defeating a far richer opponent that is initially well stocked but with generally high cost weaponry by being able to maintain effectiveness their longer, indeed to a degree we are seeing that in Ukraine. We must learn because as has already been stated by ex military that British tanks would be gone in a week in the Baltic States even if they took out 4 or 5 enemy. Our fast reducing stock of high end weapons as good as they may be,… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
7 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

I would not say that our armed forces need much awareness of UAVs – in June ’63 we collaborated with Canada on the Canadair CL-89 drone project, fielded in about 1970, by the British Army.
UAVs are not just for the RAF, who discovered UAVs along time after the army.
I would be interested to hear about the payload of logistic support drones – ammunition is extremely heavy.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
7 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

The RN and Army have been evaluating Malloy for logistics, you can see different payload variants at link below. Up to 180kg currently it seems.
https://www.malloyaeronautics.com/

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago

Ok, that will carry 4 x 155mm arty shells or 7,000 rds of 7.62mm.
Hope it doesn’t get shot down or jammed.

Jay R
Jay R
7 days ago

Russia have failed to gain air superiority for a simple reason. Lack of PGMs and ARMs. They are forced to operate at low level. If they had mass situational awareness, using targeting pods like Litening, it would be very different, every SAM system would be destroyed as soon as it is switched on.

DanielMorgan
DanielMorgan
7 days ago

It’s really rather premature to draw lessons concerning the use of drones in a peer-to-peer engagement. The Ukrainians have proven to be masters at propaganda and there is nothing more dramatic than an aerial shot of a Russian tank/vehicle being destroyed by a bomb dropped from a drone. But is that truly representative of how the Ukrainians are taking out so much Russian armor? What percentage is attributable to drones? The Russians have so far shown themselves to be remarkably inept, under-equipped and, if I may coin a phrase, under-technologied. Where is their vaunted EW? The US, for instance, has… Read more »

JohninMK
JohninMK
6 days ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

Spot on. We know very little about the Ukrainian’s success or otherwise in using the TB-2. We don’t know even basic data like how many they have had delivered and how many of those have been destroyed. But the AFU/US/Russians and Turks know. The Russians in particular are very happy at the way their Tor-M1 is dealing with it. I have not spotted discussion on it here but on the evening of the 8th there was a follow up major attack by the AFU on Snake Island. To have captured the island on the 9th May would have been a… Read more »

KPB
KPB
5 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

I’ve not heard about that, nor seen any footage on funker360. Do you have a link to trustworthy source?

JohninMK
JohninMK
5 days ago
Reply to  KPB

The problem is the “trustworthy” in a war where the Ukrainians have top grade PR and the Russians have little apart from their twice daily basic updates on top of very good OPSEC by both sides. The situation is compounded in this case by the site being 20 or so miles offshore so no civilian cameras plus the Ukrainian serious clampdown on said cameras. On the Russian side only the DNR/LDR militias take phones and commentators with them, not Russian forces and rarely the latter as they are not interested in feeding news outlets like the West does. As a… Read more »

KPB
KPB
5 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

There’s a reasonable balance of footage provided by both sides on sites like Funker360. I would be very surprised if the Russian MOD/pro-Kremlin sources failed to capitalise on such events via informal and non-state controlled channels. To be honest, unless I see evidence with my own eyes, I tend to take claims by both sides with a pinch of salt. However, given the Russian Govt’s proven propensity to lie through it’s teeth, I am very skeptical that anywhere near that level of losses of men and material were inflicted on the Ukrainians, especially given they were allegedly attacking a strategically… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
5 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Ha ha ha ha haaaaaaa FFS you are going top chuff today son! Good OPSEC by the Russkies? Ha ha ha ha haaaaaaaaa! I could rip your puke inducing post apart but I can’t be bothered, aside from the fact you do not have an opposing view, you support the Russian invasion, make excuses at every post, have no depth or reality of argument and never come back to reply to posters who challenge your view! You just repeat shite like RT! And we are all still intrigued why you have never answered my oft repeated question of why will… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
5 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Any condemnation of Putins illegal invasion of Ukraine yet?

Frank62
Frank62
45 minutes ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

What concerns me is while we’re patting ourselves on the back for Russia’s failure & ineptitude faced with strong Ukrainian fighting spirit & western supplied kit, Russia could recognise & learn the costly lessons, reorganise & adapt. That could draw out the war, even produce further gains just as we thought it was nearly over.

I’d rather see direct military assistance to make the most of Russia’s weakness(not so weak as to stop the daily killing & destruction) to push Russia right out of Ukrainian territory before the opportunity is gone.

farouk
farouk
6 days ago

Oh my giddy aunt

Opera Snapshot_2022-05-10_075525_twitter.com.png
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 days ago
Reply to  farouk

That is quality!

Bloke down the pub
Bloke down the pub
6 days ago

Worth noting too the impact on the air defence regime of the sinking of the Moskva

John Hartley
John Hartley
6 days ago

Lets not forget Ukraine is getting intelligence from all those modified NATO B707s flying about. Yes drones are vital. Was it wise to cut 4x Protector drones from the RAF? Should we now restart the proposed Starstreak upgrade? Should one of the UK Army Boxer variants be an Oerlikon Skyranger AD model? Should all UK MBT have an active protection system (Trophy?). Can we finally get a long range precision heavy stand off weapon for the F-35B?

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
6 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

And how useful would have been those RAF Sentinels too?
Like to see a Starstreak ER or navalised Seastreak system used on navy ships that don’t/won’t get CAMM, RFA’s, Bays, Rivers, Carriers etc.

Daveyb
Daveyb
6 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

The UK by rights should be building its own class of MALE UAVs. They are the most basic of airframes to build. Yet we have to purchase systems like Reaper and Protector from abroad, why? Today Army’s chief of staff has finally admitted that a force of 73,000 is too small, duh! Boxer is a good vehicle, but not a vehicle to replace Warrior. The Warrior sustainment and upgrade program should be reinstated. But looking at the evidence provided by the Ukraine war, it is essential that it has an APS. Boxer, should still be used by the Army, but… Read more »

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral
6 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Yes to all of that. The still obvious choice is to integrate ANY U.K weapons on the F35b! Storm shadow would be fantastic as an interim anti ship missile, along with Spear3….a device I would call a swarming drone, as a bunch will sort themselves out target wise. To my mind, Spear3 needs to be made vertical of boxed launch capable and put on almost everything…ships and land based systems.
Martlet would appear to be a good anti-drone missile and relatively inexpensive. Perhaps army helicopters should be so armed for anti drone use?…and anything else.
AA

Daveyb
Daveyb
6 days ago

I have been thinking a bit more about Storm Shadow’s capabilities. Most of the ingredients are already in place, especially when you consider the SCALP version. For maritime use it can be fired from either a submarine or from a ship. MBDA gave it a booster so it can be fired from Sylver VLS cells. The SCALP has a smaller warhead and dropped the cruising speed to increase its range over Storm Shadow. It also uses a mixed combination of an active radar along with infrared imaging to detect its target. So there is an clear and available option of… Read more »

Daveyb
Daveyb
6 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Oops, forgot to add SCALP can be canister fired as well.

John Hartley
John Hartley
6 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

The RN uses 30mm, the AAC 30mm on its Apache, RAF Typhoon 27mm. So there are 3 alternative rounds already in UK service.

Daveyb
Daveyb
6 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

The Army (ground based) is supposed to be switching to the 40mm CTAS. I appreciate Apache use 30mm, but the M230 chain gun is completely different to the one used with the Navy’s DS30M mount. The Bushmaster 2 that the DS30M uses has a shell 30mm x 173mm, whereas the M230 uses 30mm x 113mm. So the shells are not compatible. It would be handy if the RAF, Navy and Army all used the same calibre and shell size. The CTAS 40mm is too powerful for a forward firing gun on an aircraft, and also too big for an Apache.… Read more »

James
James
6 days ago

Turkish made drones killed more Russian forces than anything else above the skies of Ukraine. Turkey has established itself as a drone superpower just behind the US in drones numbers . The Bayraktar TB2 is the main star in a class of its own that the US nor Israel have which Turks took advantage of big time, but it has developed way more advanced ones in different classes . A naval version of the TB2 known as TB3 will be on the light Turkish carrier and Japan has shown interest . But Turkey main new drone is the Akinci which… Read more »

Last edited 6 days ago by James
nonsense
nonsense
5 days ago
Reply to  James

Turkey’s decisions about drones are worth noting.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 days ago
Reply to  James

I’m impressed by TB2.

How much is one system?

Meanwhile we pissed 1 billion away on Watchkeeper.

nonsense
nonsense
4 days ago

Baykar Bayraktar TB2 = 5M USD

but UK gov interest in IAI Heron UAV, 

perpomence of Heron 

At 8.5 meters (27.8 feet), Heron can support a payload of up to 470 kg (1,000 lbs). Its impressive operational endurance of 45 hours is matched by a range of at least 1,000 km (621 miles), depending on fuel availability

and most importantly info , it cost is = 140M USD

LOL

I guess UK GOV like expensived one.

AlexS
AlexS
3 days ago
Reply to  nonsense

You don’t know what you talking about. Not even maths. A 45 hour endurance at 110kph means +4500km, how that is matched by 1000km? Or you talking about SAT control?
140M USD means how many drones, how many control systems + support vs 5 M USD?

AlexS
AlexS
3 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Plus what sensors and mission packages available they have?

For example the Watchkeeper not even Heron level size have a Synthetic Aperture Radar which means even in bad weather will be able to operate in reconnaissance mission.

James
James
4 days ago
Reply to  James

 the world first drone carrier’ you mean the Anadolu?

Its hardly the worlds first drone carrier, they are stuck with it because the US refused to sell them the F35’s.

James
James
3 days ago
Reply to  James

You are correct, just like the US refused to sell them Predator and Reaper led to the birth of Bayraktar, the F35B refusal led to TB3 for it’s carriers plus MIUS Europe first stealth unmanned supersonic drone fighter. Give where credit is due , Ukrainians are singing Bayraktar even in demonstrations. Turkey is an important ally that gets on with the UK and I certainly won’t reject some Bayraktar on our carriers or for our infantry that would give them an edge on the battlefield

James
James
3 days ago
Reply to  James

Claiming a drone is stealth and it actually having real world capability in an area they have no experience will have to wait to be seen. Also whatever they build and put on the carrier is hardly going to be a substitute to the F35B.

They are an interesting ally at times, personally I dont agree with alot of what Erdogan does especially as hes put himself in default charge the same way Putin did.

AlexS
AlexS
3 days ago
Reply to  James

 The Bayraktar TB2 is the main star in a class of its own that the US nor Israel

Of course they have a couple of models even.

nonsense
nonsense
5 days ago

The drones used by ISIS 7-8 years ago and the drones now have different performance. The 14nm process did not even exist at the time, and in general, it would have been difficult to find 40nm and 28nm in commercial drones. Right now, a 28nm arm chipset sells for only $4-5. If a drone with this level of performance has a low-cost camera and the knowledge of a computer major student, it becomes a self-destruct drone capable of terrorism as well as military use. It is a world where a few drones for only $3,000 can monitor forest fires across… Read more »

rcks
rcks
3 days ago

I suspect we will see history repeat itself with the drones , like WWI drones are spotter aircraft and some bombers [though drones are farther ahead in that dept. than WWI aircraft ] next drone fighters to kill the spotters , then drone dog fights ?

Rob
Rob
2 days ago

Just some thoughts… British Army. Perhaps it’s time to put a drone platoon into every infantry Battalion support Coy. Mix of recce and anti armour man portable drones. Artillery Regt’s to get an extra Battery per Regt of loitering target acquisition drones. We will also need a very portable and cheep anti drone missile system. It doesn’t need to shoot down fast jets just enemy drones. Perhaps an anti drone Battery per BCT? RAF. I don’t think the days of manned fast jets is over. The Russian Air Force is failing because it can’t do a large scale air superiority… Read more »