The Russian military has employed the advanced electromagnetic weapon known as Stupor against Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles for the first time, reported TASS.
Ukrainian forces have constantly used drones to effectively repel Putin’s forces, destroying hundreds of Russian armored vehicles and main battle tanks.
According to the latest report by TASS, Moscow appears to be using a new anti-drone weapon in what it described as a special operation in Ukraine.
“Russia’s Stupor electromagnetic systems were used for the first time during the special operation in Ukraine, against Ukrainian drones,” the report said, citing security sources.
Stupor, #Russia’s advanced electromagnetic weapon against unmanned aerial vehicles, has been used for the first time during the special military operation in #Ukraine. A prototype of the device was unveiled at the Army-2017 International Military-Technical Forum. pic.twitter.com/Gebk9h5xHo
— Elijah J. Magnier 🇪🇺 (@ejmalrai) July 6, 2022
The report added that the weapon has proven to be highly effective and usable. After pressing a button, Stupor jams the operator’s signal to the drone. The drone is then neutralized and made to land in a designated location.
The need for such portable anti-drone weapons became completely obvious given the fact that the Ukrainian military employs a large number of UAVs and various small copters. The source gave no further details regarding the location of anti-drone weapon usage.
Stupor Anti-Drone Gun
According to the report, the Main Robotics Research and Test Center of the Russian Defense Ministry developed Stupor to combat unmanned aerial vehicles, including copters, under direct visibility. The weapon prototype was first unveiled at the Army-2017 International Military-Technical Forum.
The gun transmits separate electromagnetic pulses to block the channel used to direct the drone. As a result, the drone loses contact with its controller and crashes. Stupor has a two-kilometer range and a 20-degree field of effect.
The device can block unmanned aerial vehicle photo and video cameras and their navigation and transmission channels in the electro-optical frequency range. Both a car battery and the electrical grid can be used to charge it.
The target locking time until total suppression is 4 to 30 seconds, depending on the type of drone. The device causes no damage to drone hardware, so it can be restarted after being suppressed by the gun.
The Stupor gun is 1.16 meters long and weighs 5.5 kg. The IP 66 standard protects the system’s hardware (from rain and snow). The battery in the gun allows it to fire for up to 4 hours; a full charge takes 2 hours.
The weapon passed tests in the spring of 2017. Later, the Russian defense ministry expressed interest in them, and the designers modified the device for military use.
Ukraine also uses electromagnetic guns. The KVS G-6, a weapon produced in Ukraine, is employed by the country’s armed forces. The Ukrainian gun model, with a range of 3.5 kilometers, outperforms the Russian device in terms of the operation range.
The weapon was used to protect infrastructure at the 2018 Fifa World Cup, which was held in Russia. Furthermore, it was also tested by the Russian military in Syria.
Are Ukrainian Drones Becoming Ineffective?
After being ‘humiliated’ by drones during the initial stages of the invasion, Russia seems to have learned its lesson. Russia’s improved defense systems are now shooting down and jamming many Ukrainian drones, rendering them ineffective.
Russian forces are identifying drones with early warning radars and jamming and disrupting their communication with electronic warfare systems.
According to footage published by the Russian Ministry of Defense, the Krasukha-S4 electronic warfare system has successfully jammed Ukrainian drones.
The TB2s, which were fiercely effective in the early stages of the conflict, have started to be shot down by Russia, and the Ukrainian army is reducing their use. The cost of the TB2 drones can range from $1 to $2 million per unit, in contrast to the several thousand dollars per unit cost of single-use drones like the Switchblade and Phoenix Ghost.
Ukraine’s drones are becoming less effective in this new conflict phase. Still, according to experts, Russia is using just as many drones, particularly for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions.