Attack by a swarm of drones: how to defend against new methods of air attack


As the fighting in Idlib shows, an attack with unmanned aerial vehicles in modern conditions is becoming one of the most effective air operations against enemy ground targets. Naturally, the question also arises of how to resist it.


Drone aviation, being one of the relatively new means of the air force, it is not by chance that it is becoming increasingly widespread. Relatively inexpensive compared to UAVs, not only save money, but also minimize human loss. UAVs do not have crews, respectively, and there is no one to die in the event of an attack by enemy aircraft or air defense.

One of the most famous examples of the use of drones to attack land and sea targets are the events in the Persian Gulf. Yemenite Hussites with the help of drones attacked the oil facilities of Saudi Arabia, which are located at a distance of at least 900 km from Yemen. The drones completed the reconnaissance missions, and then struck. In addition to drones, cruise missiles also took part in the Hussite attack, which hit targets already set.

Interestingly, Saudi Arabia, which spends a lot of money on defense and surpasses most countries in its military budget, was unable to repel these attacks. The air defense system did not react and strikes were inflicted on oil facilities, causing enormous damage to the Saudi economy.

In Syria, with the help of drones, militants of radical groups have repeatedly tried to attack the Russian military air base Khmeimim. Fortunately, unlike the Saudi air defense systems, our anti-aircraft missile systems worked efficiently: enemy drones were damaged on approach to the base and could not drop bombs on its territory. But on the other hand, Turkish unmanned aerial vehicles in Idlib proved to be very effective.


Turkey pays great attention to the development of unmanned aircraft and has a large number of drones. Therefore, as soon as the situation in Idlib escalated, the Turkish armed forces launched regular attacks on the positions of the Syrian government forces with the help of UAVs.

The fact that Syrian airspace was closed to Turkish aircraft played a role here. Therefore, the Turks attacked with drones and caused very great damage to the Syrian troops with these attacks: UAVs were hit at military convoys, checkpoints and even individual military vehicles.

Now, from the use of single drones, they are moving to attack tactics with their swarm. With some control from the ground, drones can line up in battle formation. So far, these are very primitive figures and short-term actions, but with the development of artificial intelligence, the possibilities of attack by a swarm of drones will also improve.

Its undoubted advantages are that it involves a large number of unmanned aerial vehicles. At the same time, small drones are the most dangerous, which are extremely difficult to detect with air defense radars. If they operate in a swarm, then the air defense forces simply will not be able to repel the simultaneous attack of dozens of unmanned aerial vehicles.

The great danger of the spread of such tactics lies in the fact that drones are actively using not only the armed forces of states, but also non-state ones, including terrorist armed groups. Thus, the actions of terrorists acquire a completely new look, their destructive consequences are seriously increasing. Accordingly, new tasks arise for the air defense forces - to improve their technical and tactical capabilities to repel attacks of both individual drones and UAV groups.

One of the main tools to counter the attack of drones are electronic reconnaissance equipment, detecting the control channels of drones. In addition, it is necessary to develop means of suppressing control channels for unmanned aerial vehicles. With their help, drones can be disabled long before they reach the goal.

Naturally, air defense weapons also need further development. Now the Panzir-C1 complexes are most effective against drones, and as regards such systems as the S-400, their use against UAVs is unprofitable: a single missile launched from the S-400 can cost as many as hundreds of drones, especially when it comes to drones, manufactured by terrorists in semi-artisanal conditions. The use of radio-electronic suppression means also becomes an effective defense of the environment. Intercepting control of an enemy drone is ultimately capable of harming the enemy himself, including damage to the technology plan.
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  1. Insurgent 12 March 2020 08: 44 New
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    Attack by a swarm of drones: how to defend against new methods of air attack

    Better EW and EMR, against drone electronics, hardly anything exists. Well, maybe a laser, as a "dematerializer", in the future.
    1. rocket757 12 March 2020 09: 09 New
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      Naturally, the question also arises of how to resist it.

      As always do in such cases ... send their "tanks" to tsuzi airfields, command posts, launching positions! However, everything else, additional, must be had and applied as necessary.
      1. Insurgent 12 March 2020 09: 15 New
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        Quote: rocket757
        As always do in such cases ... send their "tanks" to tsuzi airfields

        1. rocket757 12 March 2020 09: 21 New
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          Well, yes, the choice is up to the commanders, which one and how to send it.
        2. Krasnodar 12 March 2020 09: 26 New
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          Well, yes - Sharon on the African coast of Suez in 1973.
    2. Horon 12 March 2020 09: 11 New
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      We also need a hunter-drone, capable of being in the air for a long time, having means for detecting other drones at a great distance and capable of hitting these drones by itself or inducing other air defense systems on them. Monitoring the air situation from the ground does not always make it possible to get a complete picture of events and a low-flying drone may come as a complete surprise. Early detection makes it possible not only to respond to danger, but also to choose the right means of destruction. Against a swarm, electronic warfare will help disrupt communications and organization, possibly disrupt the operation of the navigation system. For the final destruction, a "fly swatter" is still necessary, and it can be selected depending on the design of the drone.
      1. rocket757 12 March 2020 09: 18 New
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        Quote: Horon
        Need another drone hunter, capable of

        Yes, we need everything! And the drone is the attacker and the drone of the hunters. We need this topic, technique ... to start and develop, at the proper level!
      2. 113262a 12 March 2020 10: 26 New
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        Have you often seen a drone on approach? A toy that flies at a height of half a kilometer, less than a meter in size and silent, besides? Hundreds of hundreds of them send them to the territory of the LDP, and only a few get off! And this good flies to the goal, as a rule, not from the enemy. And with any.
        1. Horon 12 March 2020 10: 43 New
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          To do this, there are radars, thermal imagers and other means of observation to see drones. This should happen automatically, a person will get tired very quickly and for him every bird will become a drone. It is for closer monitoring that you need to have airborne controls. The constant work of electronic warfare interferes with its units, as well as the work of civil services, for the enemy, its work is a good target, and with prolonged work it will be hacked. Only an earlier fixation of enemy drones gives half the successful opposition to them.
        2. Insurgent 12 March 2020 12: 09 New
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          Quote: 113262
          Hundreds send them to the territory of LDNR

          You bent it. There was no such thing, no, and I hope it will not.
          Quote: 113262
          but units go astray!

          And it really is, try to get to the "Phantom" ...
          Quote: 113262
          And this good flies to the goal, as a rule, not from the enemy. And with any.

          And this is true. As long as you get information from KNP, who is flying, the bird is “By-bye” ...

          Everything I wrote relates to UAV reconnaissance spotters. Fortunately, we did not encounter shock drones on our site.

          But in other areas, near Yasinovataya, there were cases of deaths and injuries of children from bombing by artisanal "drones bombers."
      3. kapitan92 12 March 2020 11: 30 New
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        Quote: Horon
        For final destruction, you still need a "fly swatter",

        "Derivation of air defense."
        . The complex is a platform based on the BMP-3, armed with a combat module with a 57 mm high ballistic gun. Rate of fire - 120 rounds per minute, the initial velocity of the projectile - one thousand meters per second, range - up to ten kilometers, ammunition - 148 rounds. "Derivation" is capable of hitting objects at an altitude of 4,5 thousand meters. .
        Established passive-type detection and tracking devices are represented by an optical-electronic system (OES) developed by Peleng OJSC, which provides a circular view with the ability to monitor individual sectors of space. The Derivations-Air Defense crew can detect a target measuring 2,3 by 2,3 meters at a distance of up to ten kilometers.
        The “derivation” will replace the army air defense veteran - self-propelled gun “Shilka” in the army, as well as complement the anti-aircraft missile-cannon “Tunguska” and “Carapace”.
        A 57 mm gun with programmable shell able to show good results when fighting unmanned aerial vehicles, including light class. hi
        1. Horon 12 March 2020 11: 56 New
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          This is just one option. Drones are different, for some such shells will be redundant, for some insufficient. Here in order to determine what where and how much, an early warning system is needed. It does not exist yet, but it will have to be done, otherwise drones will pose a serious danger and lead to large losses. Even more, they can inflict psychological losses by demoralizing troops. But the most tempting counteraction against drones could be to strike at the control centers, launch, transportation, storage and production of drones, but alas ...!
          1. kapitan92 12 March 2020 12: 08 New
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            Quote: Horon
            This is just one option. Drones are different, for some such shells will be redundant, for some insufficient.

            You are right, the goals are different, I will not list models and systems. the fact is that this complex can be used as an addition to the same "Shells", given the performance characteristics of these complexes.
          2. georgiigennadievitch 15 March 2020 11: 41 New
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            The Turks in Idlib taught the Syrians an indirectly difficult but necessary lesson for us. Airplanes are incredibly expensive and experienced pilots even more. Therefore, striking a swarm of guided drones is already a very near future, and maybe even the present. Moreover, not only on land, but it can also be guided by missiles for sea targets and for air targets. If the ground forces and the Navy once again “slam their ears” in air defense, then they are generally worthless. And the alleged losses will be completely unacceptable to the troops. In addition, something is not heard about the massive rearmament of troops by our shock drones. It seems that special units and units should be created in the troops at a level from the brigade and above, which should be armed with reconnaissance. and shock drones, which should be used as an important element of the integrated fire destruction of the enemy and counter-battery combat.
            1. Dmitry Leontiev 16 March 2020 16: 00 New
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              We need special robots - drone fighters that can work specifically with swarms. So that everyone could carry 5-6 pieces per flight (the more the better). Maybe, of course, laser weapons will help, but it’s better to have developments in this regard in all areas: a swarm - you can’t imagine worse. I would choose an easy scheme for such a fighter: launch without a lane - from a rocket accelerator (so that there is no dependence on the lane and their free dispersal over the terrain is possible), flight on a jet engine, parachute landing within the base (so as not to complicate and not weight with other soft-landing systems). The defeat of drones with small arms like a machine gun - so that there is more ammunition.
              Such a fighter, of course, will be slower than a rocket, but it will be reusable and will be able to destroy several drones during a flight. The main thing is that the aiming system is effective, not smeared. Well, for target designation, respectively, we need a serious system that distributes targets between these robots.
      4. NordUral 13 March 2020 18: 57 New
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        Something like an airship with a complex of all necessary equipment. Or just a balloon attached. I sit high - I look far, I’ll even look behind the slides. Properly arrange and full coverage.
        1. Horon 13 March 2020 20: 55 New
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          Also a good thing, but there is one big drawback - a large sail. Hanging in one place is also not an option, the control zone is limited and the airship itself can easily become a target of kamikaze drones. Although, as an option, they will most likely also be used to control the situation over stationary objects.
    3. sabakina 12 March 2020 09: 26 New
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      Quote: Insurgent
      Better EW and EMR, against drone electronics, hardly anything exists. Well, maybe a laser, as a "dematerializer", in the future.
      What about buckshot?
      1. 113262a 12 March 2020 10: 27 New
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        Discover first!
      2. Strashila 12 March 2020 10: 32 New
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        coarse sand is cheaper, the Israelis have weapons with a limited radius of destruction of the order of up to 10 meters.
      3. Horon 12 March 2020 10: 50 New
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        Shotgun is effective at a short distance, for this it is necessary that the drone enters its affected area, or chases after it, but this "something" must withstand recoil when fired or be disposable.
    4. Yashka Arteleiist 12 March 2020 10: 19 New
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      Yoshkin drin, and the matryonin cat understands that all these flying fleas are exactly opposite the zulo-umba, there are no "rubella" al "leverage" of sushi foot cloth on the fence.
      How many times, to idril to pound, barmalei to our air base, with the help of mattresses, these hrenovuhi sent, but did not hear that they flew
    5. Nikolaevich I 12 March 2020 10: 23 New
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      Quote: Insurgent
      Better EW and EMR, against drone electronics, hardly anything exists.

      Oh oh EW, in general, is not bad; but ... not guaranteed! Relying on EW ... it's like teasing a bear from a tree! A bear cannot climb a tree ... you win (!) ... fellow but he can .... belay then a bear ... Hope for EW, and keep the anti-aircraft gun "at hand"! Here's a laser "blaster" is another matter! Moreover, they are already "standing on the threshold"! Another special "anti-drone" weapon will also be worth it! As they say ... a large manned attack aircraft has a large anti-aircraft gun ... large air defense systems ... (!), And a small drone has a small anti-aircraft gun, small complexes! Here, Techmash is developing something useful against the "swarms" ... the "small-caliber" MLRS ... But what? 100-150, at least, the trunks of a 50-mm anti-aircraft missile launcher will not seem enough (!) ..... I think so ... what Another tool, I think, is useful against UAVs ... "their" UAVs! Maybe a swarm will not be needed! We take a few units by the piece ... we attach a "special fence" to them ... and we crawl with it around and around drone-hazardous areas! You can use volumetric detonating explosions, but in an unusual form ...! In general, as the Fritz said near Moscow at 41m ...: "the devil is not so terrible as his little one!"
    6. knn54 12 March 2020 10: 55 New
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      To paraphrase the old adage-versus drone drone reception.
  2. Mavrikiy 12 March 2020 08: 46 New
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    Attack by a swarm of drones: how to defend against new methods of air attack

    Volumetric explosion, as an option radio-electronic, all in ruin! And with a slipper behind each fly .....
    1. tlauicol 12 March 2020 08: 58 New
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      Quote: Mavrikiy
      Attack by a swarm of drones: how to defend against new methods of air attack

      Volumetric explosion, as an option radio-electronic, all in ruin! .....

      including own air defense and electronic warfare good
      1. KCA
        KCA 12 March 2020 09: 18 New
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        EW and radar equipment is located inside a shielded, grounded body or trailer, EMP of sufficient power to disable drone electronics will not damage the equipment, especially if it is simply turned off before the EMP is initiated. If this is a shock drone worth hundreds of millions of dollars, then they don’t fly in a swarm, and it’s not a pity to spend a couple of missiles on this
        1. tlauicol 12 March 2020 09: 29 New
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          You can simply shoot down an expensive drone with a missile, why turn off the air defense?
  3. Chaldon48 12 March 2020 08: 51 New
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    Over time, laser weapons can become an effective way to deal with swarms of drones.
    1. rocket757 12 March 2020 09: 10 New
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      It’s also an option, but it’s a little later, when they will be ready for that and there will be in the required quantity.
      1. vvvjak 12 March 2020 09: 17 New
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        Also as an option for the near future - "Air Defense Derivation"
        1. rocket757 12 March 2020 09: 26 New
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          I would like it to be true. We need a real test or test as close as possible to reality !!! It was?
          1. vvvjak 12 March 2020 09: 33 New
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            Quote: rocket757
            I would like it to be true. We need a real test or test as close as possible to reality !!! It was?

            So "Derivation" only passes the test. In the fight against a swarm of drones, programmable shells with remote detonation look promising. Naturally, at the moment there are none (only being developed), therefore I am writing
            Quote: vvvjak
            as an option for the near future
            .
            1. rocket757 12 March 2020 09: 56 New
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              In short, when we see, then ...
            2. 113262a 12 March 2020 10: 33 New
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              So far, a pair of two 5,45 AKs is effective, and so far they have shot down the drones! The small-caliber Gatlig would have helped out, but we do not have them!
      2. Oquzyurd 12 March 2020 12: 08 New
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        In the TV program, the Turks said that they transferred 300 pieces of tested drones to the border units, such as in this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HZHRTEYTVg Very dangerous things against infantry.
        1. Chaldon48 14 March 2020 22: 44 New
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          300 is not enough, one more swarm to organize, but the Turks seem to have got the hang of large quantities of unmanned trifles, but still a swarm of drones is a costly thing, and mass training of operators is needed.
          1. Oquzyurd 15 March 2020 00: 13 New
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            They have the concept of a swarm, it’s 20+ drones per operator. That is, they have already prepared 10-15 mini units and operators, and all this is on the alert stage. They have already adjusted the conveyor intake of these drones. Note that these drones are full by trained programs, they have a relief map in their memory, they are positioned and controlled independently of GPS, etc.
    2. Boratsagdiev 12 March 2020 09: 18 New
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      Maybe, but a lot of nuances in his work request
      1. rocket757 12 March 2020 09: 24 New
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        Quote: BoratSagdiev
        Maybe, but a lot of nuances in his work request

        And there is little that can now be called, where any nuances are gone and everything is clear! The situation is changing rapidly, especially with the means of attack ... with the means of defense, everything happens a little later. These are objective difficulties.
        1. Boratsagdiev 12 March 2020 09: 33 New
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          You can’t argue against these objectivities - weather, aerosols, reflective coating, etc.
          Plasma weapons are not yet made, it has more features.
          1. rocket757 12 March 2020 09: 55 New
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            You can wait for something to be on the "new physical principles" !!!
            In the meantime, the "tanks"!
            1. ifvbkm 16 March 2020 17: 15 New
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              For new physical principles - see Independent Military Review of 06.12.19/XNUMX/XNUMX. There is an answer to the questions of I. Polonsky.
  4. Maks1995 12 March 2020 08: 56 New
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    It may have read poorly, but “Attack by a swarm of drones: how to defend against new methods of air attack” did not recognize ...
    common words and all ...
  5. Gardamir 12 March 2020 09: 10 New
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    Here's an article that is much more relevant than discussing how to spend billions on aircraft carriers.
    They started talking about the "swarm" a long time ago, they turned from words to action.
    And I really want Russia to get down to business from cartoons. As an example, tanks were tested in Spain in 1936, and in 1941 everything was already serious.
    Here, in all seriousness, I will repeat the words there is no time.
  6. edeligor 12 March 2020 09: 14 New
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    One of the main tools to counter the attack of drones are electronic reconnaissance equipment, detecting the control channels of drones. In addition, it is necessary to develop means of suppressing control channels for unmanned aerial vehicles. With their help, drones can be disabled long before they reach the goal.
    The most promising opposition. I would also add an air volume detonating explosion of low power, our docks in this)))
  7. Boratsagdiev 12 March 2020 09: 17 New
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    Just as tanks began to fight their own kind, so in this case they can come to this.
    Not excluding additional (concomitant) features and systems of defeat.
    PS The scale of the impact of Turkish UAVs is exaggerated, a lot of fakes and des-s from the Turks.
  8. uhu189 12 March 2020 09: 27 New
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    And anti-aircraft artillery systems all written off? Small cheap drones are not fighters, they do not possess high speed. How to try to use lasers with expensive equipment and powerful generators - is not it easier and cheaper, is it necessary to use modern anti-aircraft artillery systems?
    1. Boratsagdiev 12 March 2020 09: 49 New
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      MMM .... with dense urban development or the close proximity of important (with goals) objects you just can't shoot. The cost of collateral damage may be the highest.
      As an option - an electromagnetic gun, options have long existed.
    2. 113262a 12 March 2020 10: 36 New
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      All this is fantasy! The medicine is small-caliber shooting systems like Gatlig. The quicker the better. It’s small. By large, ordinary Shilka!
  9. Rostislav 12 March 2020 10: 59 New
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    EW will not always help. If a stationary object is attacked, then the drone can fly according to the program, without an operator, and the control cannot be intercepted / suppressed.
    EMR seems more promising.
  10. alex aircraft 12 March 2020 11: 48 New
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    What again, back to anti-aircraft artillery ?? Well then, the four-way installation of Maximov is needed in the troops. Cheap and cheerful.
  11. Glory1974 12 March 2020 12: 01 New
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    As the fighting in Idlib shows, an attack with unmanned aerial vehicles in modern conditions is becoming one of the most effective air operations against enemy ground targets.

    This was shown by the fighting in Lebanon in 1982. Were destroyed, including air defense systems, which were not on combat duty. They wondered for a long time how they were discovered and destroyed. But it turns out that Israel already began to use UAVs.
    So everything is new, well forgotten old.
    In theory, the task of action has been completed, it remains to be put into practice. Difficulties arise with the miniaturization of drones. This affects the detection range and cost of the lesion.
  12. Mihawer 12 March 2020 14: 16 New
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    The content of the article does not match the title.
    1. iouris 12 March 2020 16: 30 New
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      Well, that’s usually. Yes, and many comments are the same. Growth diseases.
  13. riwas 13 March 2020 06: 51 New
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    Belarusians have flying drones with anti-tank grenade launchers.
    https://rg.ru/2020/02/21/belorusskie-letaiushchie-granatomety-pokazali-na-video.html
    To solve air defense problems on UAVs, you can install infrared equipment along with a digital movie camera, and to defeat NARs with a laser non-contact fuse for large UAVs and KR MANPADS.
  14. Dmitry Leontiev 15 March 2020 09: 18 New
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    I think that we need the whole complex of possible measures - electronic warfare, lasers, missiles, guns - and, in addition, specialized robots for destroying drones. The locator gives the robot certain goals, based on their location and trajectory, selects the optimal route for their destruction - with whom to start and with whom to end. This robot should be fast, but at the same time not an ordinary rocket (it will not be enough for many purposes). So it should be with a jet engine, and have a good automatic aiming system - so as not to smear, but to quickly shoot drones. One such robot should be able to take down five pieces per departure, and then fly up to its base and descend by parachute (so as not to burden it with another soft landing system). And such robots should be the more the better. And they should be managed centrally - so that everyone has their own goals in a swarm of drones, and not everyone chases the same ones. That is, you need a powerful and fast computer system to manage them.
  15. ifvbkm 16 March 2020 16: 03 New
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    I advise everyone who reads VO to read Independent Military Review. There in the room from 06.12.19/2000/XNUMX. a complete answer is given on how to deal with any drones and UAVs and based on the invention of Moscow State University Lomonosov, a description of the product is given, capable of informing the striking elements of an unprecedented speed and rate of fire, which none of the existing rifle, artillery and missile systems are capable of. The invention is based on the use of new physical principles for creating rocket engines - the use of detonating explosives in rocket engines. The product is so simple that the author made small-caliber rockets in garage conditions and received impressive results (and at the same time a harsh warning from the competent authorities about severe punishment for such actions, i.e. for the possible creation of weapons). Someone will say that this is fantastic and the author will confirm that this is fantastic, but not the invention itself, but rather that since XNUMX (the moment the author received the first written response to such a product) and still, despite fifty appeals to various authorities, the state has not made a single attempt to apply the invention to its advantage. And therefore, drones will pour on the heads of our friends and allies, and then on our heads.