Sunday, May 26, 2024

Ukrainian UAV Drones Swarm Attacks Russian Aircraft Factory

HomeWARUkrainian UAV Drones Swarm Attacks Russian Aircraft Factory

In a daring raid deep inside Russia, dozens of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) swarmed and struck an aircraft manufacturing plant in the city of Taganrog early Friday morning, according to Russian and Ukrainian officials.

The Taganrog aircraft factory, run by the Beriev Aircraft Company, is a major producer of military planes for the Russian Air Force. It specializes in maritime patrol, reconnaissance, and early warning aircraft.

Vasily Golubev, the governor of Rostov region where Taganrog is located, confirmed the attack involved at least 41 drones. He said one emergency worker was injured while responding to the drone strikes, but did not provide further details on damages or casualties.

Dramatic videos and photos shared on social media showed burning buildings, air defense systems firing, and the remnants of destroyed drones scattered in the streets of the southern Russian city on the Sea of Azov.

Serhii Bratchuk, a spokesman for Ukrainian forces in Odesa, claimed responsibility for the “successful special operation” by Kyiv’s intelligence services. He stated Ukrainian drones carrying explosive munitions hit workshops at the aircraft plant, sparking fires.

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“A large number of unmanned aircraft complexes with barrage ammunition struck the factory’s workshops, causing a fire to break out,” Bratchuk said.

There were also unconfirmed reports that drones struck the Tagmet metallurgical plant in Taganrog during the raid as well.

The aerial assault represented one of the most ambitious and deep-penetrating drone attacks into Russia since Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began over a year ago. Taganrog lies barely 25 miles from the Russia-Ukraine border.

Witnesses in the city of nearly 250,000 people described hearing up to five explosions as the drone swarm approached from the Sea of Azov around 3 AM local time. Electricity in parts of Taganrog was temporarily knocked out as air defenses attempted to repel the UAVs.

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“Residents of the city reported the sounds of explosions and problems with electricity during the operation of air defense systems. People heard at least five explosions. According to eyewitnesses, drones flew in from the sea,” Russia’s state TASS news agency reported.

The brazen strike follows several other recent Ukrainian drone attacks on Russian military assets and infrastructure, including an assault on Engels Air Base hundreds of miles inside Russia last December.

In February, a Ukrainian Tu-141 reconnaissance drone reportedly struck a Russian A-50 airborne early warning and control aircraft over the Sea of Azov near Taganrog, forcing it to make an emergency landing.

The Beriev Aircraft Company has overhauled and maintained many of Russia’s A-50 “doughnut” planes, which act as aerial command centers and air battle managers. Destroying the production source for these specialized aircraft would deal a serious blow to Russian air capabilities.

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While Ukraine has not officially confirmed it was behind the Taganrog attack, the assault aligns with Kyiv’s stated goal of taking the war to Russian territory to degrade Moscow’s offensive capabilities ahead of an expected Ukrainian counter-offensive this spring.

By employing long-range drones on cunning strategic strikes, Ukraine hopes to erode Russia’s manufacturing of missiles, planes, and other weapons before its own ground forces can begin pushing back the Russian occupiers.

For now, Ukrainian drones appear to be the weapon of choice for striking deep behind enemy lines while minimizing risks to pilots and aircraft. The contested skies over Ukraine remain fraught with danger from Russian anti-aircraft systems.

As the Taganrog raid demonstrates, however, nowhere in Russia appears to be off limits from potential Ukrainian reprisal attacks using unmanned suicide drones designed to penetrate air defenses and cripple key military-industrial targets.

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Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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