Tanks and troops out in the open in Ukraine can’t go 10 minutes without being spotted and fired upon, Ukrainian official says

Ukrainian soldiers launching a drone at Russian positions near Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, December 15, 2022.

Associated Press

Tanks and troops out in the open can now be spotted in five minutes, a Ukrainian official said.
Vadym Skibitsky told The Wall Street Journal that they can be hit in a further three minutes.
“The survivability on the move is no more than 10 minutes,” he said.

The sheer number of drones operating in Ukraine, as well as battle-management systems that provide real-time imaging and locations, mean that troops and tanks out in the open have just minutes before they are targeted, a top Ukrainian military official told The Wall Street Journal.

“Today, a column of tanks or a column of advancing troops can be discovered in three to five minutes and hit in another three minutes,” Maj. Gen. Vadym Skibitsky, the deputy commander of Ukraine’s HUR military intelligence service, said.

“The survivability on the move is no more than 10 minutes,” he added.

Skibitsky also told the newspaper that “surprises have become very difficult to achieve.”

Russia and Ukraine are both deploying thousands of drones on the battlefield, and are using cheap drones to target each other’s forces.

This in turn is bringing into question some fundamentals of American military doctrine.

“The days of massed armored assaults, taking many kilometers of ground at a time, like we did in 2003 in Iraq — that stuff is gone because the drones have become so effective now,” retired US Army sergeant Bradley Crawford, an Iraq war veteran, told the newspaper.

Ukraine has been increasingly relying on cheap, first-person-view drones, or FPVs, to take out Russian military hardware.

These drones tend to cost around $400 to $500, which is a lot less than a regular 155mm artillery shell, which can cost up to $3,000, or a T-72 tank, which costs about $1,2 million

Last week, unmanned Ukrainian aerial vehicles struck a record 205 pieces of Russian military hardware in Ukraine, Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, said.

These included 64 cannons, 27 tanks, and 55 trucks, he said.

While the exact number of drones deployed remains unclear, the Royal United Services Institute estimated earlier this year that Ukraine was losing about 10,000 drones per month, a sign of their widespread use.

Meanwhile, Russia is working to make a deadlier, more advanced version of Iran’s Shahed-136 attack drone, according to documents leaked to The Washington Post.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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