In Ukraine, Russian and Ukrainian troops both use industrial, non-military drones. Through a Ministry of Defence profile on Telegram, the Kremlin provides more clarity about these drones. Boomerang drones are commonly used in mining and quarrying, energy, and construction.
The Russian military department demonstrated the work of a drone team in Ukraine during the winter. The flight and military application of the drone are controlled by an operator and an assistant. The operator wears virtual reality glasses to control the drone during flight. They transmit in real time. The assistant’s job is to track the drone’s flight based on a map of the area.
These drones are also known as FPV (First Person View). The Boomerang drone in the video is equipped with integrated post-processing kinematics (PPK). This is what makes it ideal for the industry.
When used for non-military purposes, the drone performs much more accurate calculations and locates specific control points required to construct roads and buildings, place blasts in open-pit mines, properly distance power poles, and other tasks.
However, because radio signals are used, some countries require a ham radio licence. Others do not require this licence, but care must be taken to ensure that the operator does not exceed power limits or use the incorrect frequency bands without a licence.
What advantage does this drone have in a military setting? First, considering its battery capacity and size, the Boomerang drone has a relatively good speed of 170 km/h. Second, the drone is easy to fly, and the VR orientation allows you to easily follow a route. Last but not least, the Boomerang lacks a navigation system. This gives an advantage as the impact of anti-drone guns on him is very small. That is, it allows for frequent, accurate, and painless defeats.
The drone was loaded with explosives before embarking on its suicide mission, as seen by the Russian military department. Some Russian troops in Ukraine, according to Russian military sources, are installing a night vision camera on the bottom of the drone so that it can be used at night. It is unknown how effective it is to use a night camera, which adds weight and unbalances the drone.
Russia is not the only “custom design” operator in Ukraine. Ukrainian troops set the tone for civilian drone use. Ukrainian troops have used civilian kamikaze drones since the beginning of the war and continue to do so today. Hundreds of videos on the internet show Ukrainian armed forces successfully attacking Russian armored fighting vehicles.
The projectile attached to the drone, of course, has a small explosion that will not harm the vehicle’s armor. As a result, the goal is to drop the bomb from the drone into an open hatch, ensuring that the machine survives but the crew is killed.
Using such drones in battle is a low-cost solution for both warring parties. A comparable configuration costs between $500 and $700 USD.
The Russian Boomerang drone in the video looks a lot like the Chinese DJI models 03 and 03 Air Unit. The mention of DJI is not by chance. Already last year, it was revealed that the Russian armed forces possessed a large number of these drones. There is no evidence that China supplied them to Russia because these are civilian drones purchased without documentation from all over the world.