Drone Dogfights – Russia and Ukraine Train UAV Pilots to Fight Head-to-Head

Drone Dogfights – Russia and Ukraine Train UAV Pilots to Fight Head-to-Head

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Russia reportedly began training its drone pilots in “drone dogfighting” tactics, demonstrating how modern combat changed to heavily feature and rely on drones.

The Eurasian Times reports that Russia intends to train around 3,500 FPV unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) pilots in what will mainly focus on “copter-type” drones.

According to Interesting Engineering, “drone dogfights” have been a growing phenomenon in battlefields like Ukraine in recent years. For example, back in November of 2022 footage was released of a Ukrainian drone going head-to-head with a Russian drone, eventually beating it. This indicates an interesting development in the use of drones on the battlefield.

The training duration for UAV operators changes according to several factors, and according to the commander of the Vasily Margelov battalion’s UAV unit, drone operators’ readiness for combat situations depends on motivation and initial training.

The Russian military has set up dedicated training ranges and centers to practice using FPV drones, electronic warfare equipment, and advanced aircraft weaponry in order to adapt to changing battlefield dynamics and enhance drone capabilities. The curriculum includes drone control, data analysis, and strategies for countering hostile drone activities.

Ukraine is also likely to integrate such “drone dogfight” training into its military if it hasn’t already. Ukraine’s Digital Transformation Minister Mykhailo Fedorov announced on March 1st that seven Ukrainian vocational schools would introduce a commercial drone education program, following similar efforts to integrate drone training into school curricula.

The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has heightened both nations’ drone technology and expertise and saw a significant increase in the deployment of drones on the frontlines. The Russian Ministry of Defense reports training over 3,500 drone operators for FPV drones as part of a special military operation. As both nations increasingly rely on drones, the outcome of their war could depend on the countries’ mastery of UAV tactics and technology.