Mass-market military drones have changed the way wars are fought
Explosions in Armenia, broadcast on YouTube in 2020, revealed this new form of war to the world. There, in a blue-tinted video, a radar disc rotates beneath cyan crosses until it spews out a plume of smoke. The action repeats twice: a cross-shaped target is aimed at a vehicle fitted with a rotating disk sensor, its earthen barriers are defenseless against aerial attack, leaving a crater back fire.
The clip was released on YouTube on September 27, 2020, was one of many Azerbaijani armies published during the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War, which it launched against neighboring Armenia that same day. Video recorded by TB2.
During that and other conflicts, TB2 filled the void in the weapons market caused by the US government’s refusal to export its line of high-end Predator drones. To get around export restrictions on drones and other key military technologies, Baykar turned to commercially available technologies to build weapons of war. new.
The TB2 is built in Turkey from a combination of locally produced parts and parts sourced from international commercial markets. Investigations into downed Bayraktars have revealed parts sourced from American companies, including a GPS receiver made by Trimble, an aerial modem/transceiver made by Viasat, and a Garmin GNC 255 navigator. Garmin, which makes consumer GPS products, release a statement notes that its navigation unit found in TB2 “is not designed or intended for military use, and it is not even designed or intended for use in drones.” But it’s there.
Commercial technology makes TB2 attractive for another reason: while the cost of the US-made Reaper drones 28 million USDThe TB2 only costs about 5 million USD. Since its development in 2014, TB2 has appeared in conflicts in Azerbaijan, Libya, Ethiopia and now Ukraine. Drones are much more affordable than traditional weapons Lithuanian conducted crowdfunding campaigns to help buy them for Ukrainian forces.
TB2 is just one of a number of examples of commercial drone technology used in combat. Similar DJI Mavic quadcopters that help real estate agents survey properties have been deployed in conflicts in Burkina Faso and donbass Ukrainian region. Other DJI drone models spotted in Syria since 2013and kit drones, assembled from commercially available parts, have been widely used.