The Geranium UAV with a video camera and 4G modem promises us more confirmed cases of destruction of HIMARS MLRS and Patriot air defense systems

The Geranium UAV with a video camera and 4G modem promises us more confirmed cases of destruction of HIMARS MLRS and Patriot air defense systems

Recently, in March of this year, a number of Ukrainian and Western resources published information that the wreckage of a Russian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) of the Geran-2 type, on which a PTZ video camera was additionally installed, had been found. It is characteristic that earlier, back in November 2023, enemy specialists discovered the alleged remains of a UAV of the “Geran-2” type, with an installed 4G cellular modem with broadband MIMO antennas, with a SIM card of the Ukrainian telecommunications company “Kievstar” installed in the modem "

Some Ukrainian experts have suggested that cellular communications were used to obtain telemetry from the Geranium-2 UAV, in addition to the fact that this solution was carried out in a makeshift manner and is not serial. And also that the presence of a cellular modem allows you to adjust the flight mission of a kamikaze UAV in real time.

Today we will try to take a closer look at the possibilities and associated risks of introducing cellular modems and video cameras into the design of the Kamikaze UAV “Geran-2”.

Kamikaze UAVs and cellular communications

As we said above, potentially a 4G cellular modem as part of the Geran-2 kamikaze UAV can be used to receive telemetry data, as well as to issue target designations - both of these tasks have the right to life and are quite relevant.

An alleged image of a 4G cellular modem on board the Russian Geran-2 UAV. Image:

Obtaining telemetry data during the flight of the kamikaze UAV "Geran-2" will allow the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (RF Armed Forces) to obtain important information, in particular, by launching kamikaze UAVs at different altitudes, it is possible to understand their survivability at these altitudes, taking into account the impact of enemy fire weapons . For example, in the material Climb: new tactics for using the Geran-2 UAV will make it possible to deplete Ukrainian air defense as much as possible the author suggested that by increasing the flight altitude of the Geranium, we can avoid losses of kamikaze UAVs from fire from man-portable anti-aircraft missile systems (MANPADS), anti-aircraft artillery systems (ZAK) and small arms weapons.

However, an assumption is one thing; in reality, everything can be more complicated, and it is the presence of feedback that will make it possible to confirm or refute the theory with practice, to understand at what altitudes kamikaze UAVs will reach the target with minimal losses.

In the same way, you can evaluate the impact of making various changes to the design, for example, painting the housings black instead of white or equipping the kamikaze UAV "Geran-2" with towed decoys.

In addition, other data can be indirectly obtained, for example, the density/effectiveness of the air defense (air defense) of the attacked object, the approximate location of anti-aircraft missile systems (SAM), and if their type is known, then their effectiveness against such UAVs type.

Soldiers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU) dig up the body of an unexploded kamikaze UAV "Geran-2"

Finally, it is indirectly possible to assess the effectiveness of striking a target; at least, based on the last transmitted coordinates of a kamikaze UAV with a 4G modem, it will be clear whether it reached the designated target or not.

Well, and the most important thing is the possibility of retargeting the Kamikaze UAV “Geran-2” in flight, after its launch (if this feature is implemented).

These UAVs have a fairly low speed, for this reason a number of targets can change their location after the launch of a kamikaze UAV, for example, the launcher of an air defense system can be moved several hundred meters to the side - in the usual case this means that the kamikaze UAV "Geranium-2" will be spent without any benefit, however, having received information from space or human intelligence means about a change in the target's location, the "Geranium-2" kamikaze UAV, equipped with a 4G modem, will receive updated coordinates, resulting in a change location will not allow the target to avoid being hit.

Of course, both receiving telemetry and retargeting a kamikaze UAV in flight are only possible if it is within the coverage area of ​​enemy cellular networks. One more factor must be taken into account - the radiation pattern of cell tower antennas is usually oriented along the surface, and therefore sometimes problems with the signal occur even on the upper floors of high-rise buildings (if special cell towers are not oriented towards them), and therefore, It is possible that it will be possible to provide cellular communications only for kamikaze UAVs flying at a relatively low altitude, or after they descend from a high altitude on the final leg of the flight.

Of course, the best solution for organizing two-way communication is to use our own high-speed data transmission satellite networks, but we don’t have them yet. In some cases it is possible use enemy satellite infrastructure, such as commercial Starlink communications satellites, but cases of its use are unlikely to be widespread, since in order to access the enemy’s satellite network it is necessary to obtain and activate a sufficient number of corresponding ground terminals somewhere, and it is necessary to keep all this secret from the network owners and enemy intelligence services, otherwise you yourself can become a target for striking with long-range precision weapons.

Kamikaze UAV - live broadcast

One of the most important differences of the current war in Ukraine has been the widespread coverage of hostilities by the warring parties - information counteraction. The task of “correctly” displaying events taking place on the battlefield is often as important as the victories and defeats themselves.

It would seem that it makes no difference - it is enough for both sides to shoot ordinary patriotic videos, but now this is not enough. Visual confirmation of the results of victories and defeats serves as justification for the supply of (or refusal to supply) weapons, financial resources and other quite material items to Ukraine. So both sides strive not only to destroy the enemy, but also to do it publicly, with confirmation.

For example, in the material Destruction with confirmation: the use of the Lancet-3 kamikaze UAV from the Orion UAV carriers will defiantly destroy Ukrainian Patriot air defense systems and HIMARS MLRS we considered the possibility of destroying the designated targets in such a way that no one would have any doubts about the reality of what happened.

Video recordings of targets being hit on the battlefield have become a vital component of information warfare.

Of course, no less important is the possibility of carrying out objective control - was the target destroyed, was it a mock-up, and was anything at all destroyed, or was the attacking ammunition destroyed on approach?

And finally, the presence of video surveillance equipment on the ammunition, in combination with feedback, allows it to be accurately aimed at the attacked object, eliminating the possibility of a miss, for example, if the object has slightly changed its location or the attacking ammunition has deviated - no artificial intelligence (AI) will not replace a living person - an operator assessing the image through a high-resolution video camera.

In contrast to the simple transmission of telemetry, coordinates and retargeting of a UAV in flight, the transmission of photos, and even more so video images, will require much greater communication channel capacity, and ensuring direct control of the UAV will also require minimal delays in data transmission.

Apparently, the modified Geran-2 UAV is equipped with a completely ordinary security video camera; it looks like it has two lenses, most likely with or without magnification (the image is shown as an example, the exact model of the camera could not be found)

Is it possible to provide telecontrol of a kamikaze UAV using a 4G cellular modem?

It is possible, but unlikely, most likely the connection will be unstable, there will be interruptions and delays - everyone can try to organize video communication from their smartphone on the move, at a speed of over a hundred kilometers per hour, except that in large cities something like this can happen.

But obtaining photos and video images, both intelligence data and facts confirming the destruction of targets by ahead “blind” kamikaze UAVs, is much more realistic.

By combining “blind” kamikaze UAVs “Geran-2” and their modifications equipped with video cameras, it is possible to organize raids in waves, when the kamikaze UAVs “Geran-2” equipped with video cameras will provide confirmation of the facts of the destruction of targets in the first wave and simultaneously carry out reconnaissance of new targets for second and subsequent waves.


The first group of risks is an increase in the likelihood of the enemy detecting our kamikaze UAVs equipped with cellular modems with “enemy” SIM cards. In fact, there are quite simple ways to get around this problem, but we will not discuss them here, since the enemy can also use them, let’s hope that ours have thought of this themselves.

The second group of risks - you need to understand that the enemy can organize something similar, that is, equip their long-range kamikaze UAVs with cellular modems and video cameras, obtain Russian SIM cards and significantly increase the efficiency of striking particularly important targets located deep in the territory Russian Federation.

What can we say about the second group of risks - well, firstly, Russian cellular operators and their controlling structures must be prepared to detect such SIM cards, for example, based on an analysis of the speed and trajectory of their movement across the territory of Russia, such a task is quite Even existing artificial intelligence (AI) models can cope - they can’t still draw pictures, or even simpler algorithms that work using equipment installed by cellular operators.

Second, the do not neglect visual camouflage and other methods of protecting objects, even located in the deep rear, it is still not noticeable that any comprehensive measures are being taken to protect Russian cities and industrial facilities - all problems are transferred to air defense. Meanwhile The enemy may have so many kamikaze UAVs and other high-precision long-range weapons that no air defense can cope.


The use of 4G modems with SIM cards from enemy telecom operators in combination with video cameras on board the Geran-2 UAV, and probably also on long-range kamikaze UAVs of other types, potentially allows for additional advantages, including the possibility of reconnaissance route, retargeting a UAV in flight, additionally searching for targets and assessing the results of an attack by a kamikaze UAV or other long-range weapon not equipped with video recording and communications equipment.

At the same time, there are certain risks in the form of an increase in the likelihood of the enemy detecting such UAVs and taking measures to destroy them, however, these risks can largely be neutralized with the help of measures that will not be discussed in this article. At the same time, it is necessary to take into account the possibility of the enemy using symmetrical measures in terms of equipping its long-range kamikaze UAVs with similar solutions and SIM cards of Russian telecom operators.

Of course, such a solution is a compromise due to Russia’s lack of its own constellations of high-speed Internet communication satellites; their creation and deployment, in my opinion, should become one of the most important priorities of our country.
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  1. +5
    25 March 2024 04: 38
    Not a bad article. Now, as soon as the author takes a break from absurd ideas, we see suitable analytical material!

    in terms of equipping its long-range kamikaze UAVs with similar solutions and SIM cards of Russian telecom operators.
    It seems that this solution is already used in unmanned boats - in any case, there are cellular routers there.
  2. +12
    25 March 2024 05: 00
    Sims have been available on Ukrodrones for a long time; recently, during a raid on a refinery, the drone actively maneuvered and landed right on top of a tall and thin structure, controlled with 100 percent probability via the Internet.

    I don’t understand why our mobile internet is not turned off on command.
    1. +3
      25 March 2024 05: 39
      Quote from iommy
      I don’t understand why they don’t turn off our mobile internet on command
      The drone does not necessarily have to be aimed through the base relay stations of the cellular operator. This can probably be done directly, via satellite. Or, in a drone, a specific target can be set initially and it follows the course according to the route assigned to it, without any correction from the satellite
      1. 0
        25 March 2024 05: 53
        The satellite correction is still needed; the error in the ins will accumulate over a couple of hours of flight. Or two-way communication through the camera.
        By the way, this is how you can identify air defense targets by launching bait and “big-eyed”
      2. 0
        25 March 2024 06: 03
        Ukrodrones are real pipe planes assembled from plumbing materials, hot melt glue, improvised feces and sticks. Just look at the cost of using surviving parts from geraniums. There are no cool Starlinks and GPS L2, and over Russia Starlink doesn’t work at all, GPS for civilian targets is actively lying for a couple of kilometers, and the INS is actively accumulating errors. There is only one option for accurately hitting targets - mobile Internet. But for some reason we are actively ignoring this matter. Accidents at infrastructure facilities are problems of private companies servicing these facilities.
        1. +3
          25 March 2024 06: 09
          Quote from iommy
          Ukrodrones are real pipe planes assembled from plumbing, hot melt glue, improvised materials and sticks
          Nothing like that! All drones are of foreign origin. Take a look at the photo. Everything is neatly packed in boxes
          1. +7
            25 March 2024 06: 10
            Please don’t confuse FPV and aircraft-type kamikaze drones flying 400 kilometers.
            1. +2
              25 March 2024 06: 16
              Quote from iommy
              aircraft-type kamikaze drones flying 400 kilometers
              Such drones, flying 400 kilometers, cannot be made from go...on and sticks wink
          2. -1
            25 March 2024 06: 17
            This is brotherly China, brother)) brotherly brother, you understand. brother to brother anyway brother and if not brother then he's a real guy
        2. 0
          25 March 2024 06: 41
          And they don’t need to hit only point targets all the time, like their artillery. In most cases, they simply launch and shoot towards the city or refinery - where it falls, it will fall.
    2. 0
      25 March 2024 06: 20
      If only ours could, on command, turn off the air and the old link, otherwise it’s useless for some drones, but we have to try.
      1. +2
        25 March 2024 06: 33
        Starlink does not work in the Russian Federation!
      2. +2
        25 March 2024 06: 34
        Starlink does not work over Russian territory. Never.
        1. +1
          25 March 2024 12: 18
          Quote from iommy
          Starlink does not work over Russian territory. Never.

          Musk also promised to block Starlink communications when the receiver speed is more than one hundred km/h.
          Now the Starlink terminal fits into a smartphone.
    3. 0
      25 March 2024 10: 55
      During a raid on a refinery, the drone actively maneuvered and landed right on top of a tall and thin structure, controlled with 100 percent probability via the Internet.

      There could have been no management at all.
      For example, the flight route is recorded in memory, and the drone flies along this route.
      Hitting the target exactly could be done using GPS.
      1. +1
        25 March 2024 11: 45
        Then why the maneuvers? Why the turns at 90 degrees and hitting the top of the structure, and not the base?
        1. +1
          25 March 2024 11: 52
          Then why the maneuvers?

          What's so strange?
          This is how the route was set.
          Some missiles also make different maneuvers based on the route
  3. +1
    25 March 2024 05: 49
    Camera from the marketplace... I have the same one in my yard winked .. What can you see through it? ! Especially at night and on the move... There is a cheap matrix there... is it really impossible to install a normal camera, and not this one for 1.5 rubles!
    1. +3
      25 March 2024 06: 08
      It is clear that this camera is a homemade calculation. Nobody allocated a budget
      1. +3
        25 March 2024 06: 34
        I understand this, but I just don’t understand why they don’t install cameras at the factory if it not only won’t hurt, but will also help identify air defense positions
        1. +2
          25 March 2024 08: 24
          Quote: Popuas
          why don't they install cameras at the factory,

          The factory is mass production! A lot of bureaucratic obstacles need to be tied up: approval, permission, changes to the documentation, to the plan... And here it’s more like “testing of the pen”..."experiments" on a finished, planned product!
  4. -3
    25 March 2024 06: 29
    The right decision, and also install a diesel engine and a large propeller, so that there is less noise and the range to London increases, and you can push different SIM cards, and it’s better to install a Starlink and a thermal imager...
    1. +2
      25 March 2024 07: 09
      Quote: air wolf
      or better yet, install Starlink and a thermal imager...

      And gravitsapoo! Yes
  5. 0
    25 March 2024 07: 07
    Well done, Mitrofanushka! I told you everything myself! There was no need to even threaten torture! fellow
  6. -1
    25 March 2024 07: 29
    I think AI is quite capable of blocking a SIM card that moves more or less evenly and in a straight line and produces a certain stream of data. You really need to do this quickly. Now. Perhaps ahead of the curve. And not scratch your ass for a couple of years.
    1. -1
      25 March 2024 13: 22
      Oh, those storytellers who believe in the existence of AI. Can you imagine what kind of power is needed to track all SIM cards located throughout the entire city of a million people? We've seen enough films.
      1. 0
        25 March 2024 23: 57
        What's so unrealistic? There are data centers, they have optics to each base station
    2. +1
      25 March 2024 13: 33
      Quote: acetophenon
      I think AI is quite capable of blocking a SIM card that moves more or less evenly and in a straight line and produces a certain stream of data.

      You don't even need AI for this. The simplest task. When an "air" signal is received, block moving SIM cards using the mobile Internet.
    3. 0
      26 March 2024 20: 47
      AI is not needed at all, the simplest monitor program will do.
  7. +1
    25 March 2024 09: 27
    During the Second World War, photographs were also taken to record hits and defeats. Everything requires confirmation.
  8. +1
    25 March 2024 12: 18
    Of course, such a solution is a compromise due to Russia’s lack of its own constellations of high-speed Internet communications satellites,

    Always and for everything there are only satellites and nothing else. And communications can also occur through ground structures, through other UAVs, through ballistic missiles, and so on.
  9. +1
    25 March 2024 13: 20
    My robot vacuum cleaner is able to distinguish a sock from a charger, so is the UAV really not capable of at least being hundreds of meters from the target to find it by its thermal signature or optical image?
  10. +2
    25 March 2024 16: 44
    For attacks on Khimars and long-range 155mm howitzers, you can use a repeater in the form of Orion or Outpost. The satellite terminal is unlikely to fit into Geranium.
  11. 0
    25 March 2024 17: 04
    Geranium is a projectile with a motor and nothing more. Ukraine took the path of least resistance, aircraft designers developed or took a ready-made airframe, added an available motor, assembled a guidance system from civilian components, and everything was cheap and, judging by the results, cheerful. There are return compasses on sale, I use this one when collecting chanterelles, fill a bucket, hammer in a point, put it under a bush and collect the next one. The usual error is approximately 5 meters, sometimes less. Put one on the UAV and go. Even the materials and weight of the airframe are not particularly important; 15 - 20 kg of explosives is enough to destroy a substation or oil refinery column.
  12. 0
    25 March 2024 18: 31
    On a difficult road and beetle meat!!!!!
  13. +2
    25 March 2024 19: 32
    Quote: Victor Sergeev
    Oh, those storytellers who believe in the existence of AI. Can you imagine what kind of power is needed to track all SIM cards located throughout the entire city of a million people? We've seen enough films.

    To determine the positions of all telephones in the city from three communication towers once a minute, the power required is insignificant compared to that spent on speech recognition from all the telephone robots that have proliferated like mushrooms.
  14. 0
    26 March 2024 07: 32
    I can suggest and outline a rough plan for what a 4G modem is needed:
    1. We have a partisan (saboteur, Stirlitz) in Ukraine. He purchases a smartphone(s), sim card(s). Removes information from SIM cards and sends the IMEI of the device to Russia.
    2. Reflash the IMEI of the 4G modem and install a duplicate SIM card in it.
    3. We launch a UAV with an installed modem to an object in Ukraine. When approaching the target, we turn on the modem, it connects to the network and telemetry and cinema start. The UAV operator controls the flight or whatever he does.
  15. 0
    26 March 2024 16: 11
    But a drone on approach to a target cannot be intercepted by an agent-operator to make adjustments to the target?